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Solent Mind volunteer, Abby Crowe was asked by Mind to assist with shortlisting the entrants for the 2012 Mind Media awards. In the first of a three part blog, Abby talks about how she felt in the build up to the Awards. 

Part One: Before the Awards 

Back in September I was invited by Mind to be a shortlister on a panel for the Mind Media Awards. I was allocated 2 categories News and Media and Student Journalist of the year. I was very excited about taking part in these awards as I feel that they continue to break down the stigma behind mental health illness in the media. 

After watching, reading and listening to hours of information I was ready to hit the panel in London. We discussed each entry specifically and went through the process choosing the finalists. This was a very hard part as the entries although were all about the same topic had so many different dimensions to them. My favourite part of the process was deliberating over all of the Student Journalists entries. They were so in-depth, many talking about their own experiences with mental health or from someone else’s perspective. I learnt a lot about different perspectives and how many students had suffered. This made me realise more than ever how much Heads Up is helping University students with mental health problems and how it can really help so many others in the future.  

We eventually finished choosing the finalists for the awards! Horray! We had an eclectic mix from different areas, universities, TV companies and radio. After all the deliberation I was very tired, but too very excited about the next bit… THE AWARDS!!! 

I was lucky to have been invited to the awards due to my contribution. I was very honoured that I was part of such a fantastic event, with some amazing influential people who I hoped would be attending. The day arrived when I received my invite I then started to get more excited, just the journey to tackle and I would be fine. Mum as my carer agreed to come with me as I didn’t want to feel I couldn’t cope and not attend. 

Dress packed, suitcase at the ready… off to London we went. I became anxious on the way to London but over came it well; with mum by my side I should be fine. All that was now left to do was get dressed up to the 9’s and attend the awards smile and all!! Mum decided to take me through another entrance; we weren’t quite sure we were at the right place until Gok Wan breezed past us; we followed him and found our way! My heart was racing as the awards were finally here and everyone’s hard work was paying off! 

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