Raw and honest documentary scoops top prize

We’re proud to announce that the Girls on The Edge documentary, which featured three teenage girls who were cared for within our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, scooped the Best Documentary prize at the Mind Media Awards 2018.

The awards, which were hosted by actor and mental health campaigner Stephen Fry, recognise broadcast, print and digital media portrayals on mental health issues, and recognise responsible reporting. Girls on The Edge, which was made by TV production company Dragonfly and broadcast on BBC Two earlier this year, looked at the impact being sectioned indefinitely under the Mental Health Act had on the girls, their parents and siblings.

Told in their own words with directness and raw honesty, the film aimed to remove shame and stigma surrounding mental illness as well explore some of the pressures on young people growing up.

Jade, one of the young people who featured in the documentary, was at the event to collect the award with her family, the production team and St Andrew's staff. She shared wise words with the audience: "To anyone out there struggling I just want to say that you are loved, you are cared about and you are worthy of help."

Lisa Cairns, Service Director at St Andrew’s, explained: “Taking part in the documentary wasn't something we took lightly; there was a rigorous three-step consent process for our patients, and we worked closely with Dragonfly to ensure both our patients and staff felt comfortable and confident being part of it.

“Each of the girls had similar reasons for taking part in the programme, and all felt that by sharing their stories they could help other young people who are struggling with their mental health. We’re proud that the finished programme helped to de-stigmatise mental illness, demystify what secure mental healthcare involves, and gives our young people a voice.”

Kirsty Cunningham from Dragonfly, explained: “By bravely allowing us in and supporting us to then film in a way that was respectful, sensitive and kind to the young people and their families we were able to make a film which now has been recognised as deepening everyone’s understanding of what is really going on for young people struggling with their mental health.”

Congratulations to the other winners and everyone shortlisted. To read more about the event, click here.