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SCARF Media for Mental Health Awards presented

in the 10 the edition of the SCARF Media for Mental Health Awards, the Schizophrenia Research Foundation included a new category to recognize non-journalists who wrote articles on mental health. On Friday, the evening of articles published between April 2020 and March 2021 was held virtually.

Jaya Sreedhar, president of the SCARF Media for Mental Health Awards, said the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in more data being made available allowing reporters to provide in-depth stories. She called on doctors to “provide access” and urged more communication between newsmakers, such as doctors, researchers and the media. Sharing data with journalists and explaining how to interpret it would prevent misreporting, she said.

Unlike in the past, magazines and newspapers have provided more space for reporting on mental health, said Venkatesh R., editor-in-chief of pattam, a tamil daily supplement Dinah Malar, and awards co-chair . Some articles were several thousand words long, indicating the importance the media placed on the topic.

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Girija Vaidhyanathan, who was the main guest at the event, suggested that TV news be included for the awards. “I was able to read all the articles [that had won awards] and I came out a better person,” he said.

The winners are Riddhi Dastidar for his article on the impact of COVID-19 on service users in indian spend; Sudipta Das for her article on queer affirmative therapy in Feminism in India; and Vinod Kumar Menon of noon for her articles following up on the rights of a mentally ill woman fighting for custody of her son.

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Among the articles in regional languages, Sindhuvasini’s article in bbc hindi on the rights of people with mental illness to insurance benefits and Sijo Pynadath’s article on the mental health of children and their caregivers in Diary Deepikaa Malayalam magazine, won the award.

The judges, Mr. Venkatesh and Dr. Jaya, said that since some non-journalists had also entered the contest, they decided to make a special mention of the articles. Sudiksha Jain’s article on the need to end the colloquial use of mental health terms and Ayushi Khemka’s journey with anxiety published in Health Collective India received a special mention for being accepted in the non-journalistic category.

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