Over the years I’ve known a number of people who self-harm, more often than not cutting themselves.

It’s always something I’ve found really disturbing, to the point that my physical revulsion to the idea of cutting myself  has probably stopped me thinking too deeply about why someone might do this, apart from being a troubled person in a troubled world.

That’s not too impressive an admission I know.

Tonight I was tweeting my amazement that to enter Mind’s Mental Health Media Awards you need to hand over £198! It’s not that duckrabbit doesn’t have £198 but I can think of better ways of feeling good about myself then paying silly amounts of money to win an award.  Tom Price tweeted back that the fee was stopping him submitting a stop motion film he helped make about self-harm.

If like me you’re ignorant about why people self harm please do take a couple of minutes to watch Tom’s superb film.

Tom, if you ever want to come on one of our training courses we’ll knock off the £198 we won’t be spending on entering the awards.


Tom Says:

I made a couple of films recently with Shedlight Productions, commissioned by Raise, a mental health training and consultancy company. We were set the brief of exploring experiences of using mental health services from the perspective of service-users who self-harm and who have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. The point of the films was to communicate some of that insider perspective to carers and mental health workers.

The extra challenge was that the films had to be ‘funky’ and couldn’t show the identity of our subjects.

This was one of the films I made on self-harm.

The artwork is by Sarah Price.


  • Jeez £198! Whats all that about? Certainly not opening it up to the widest possible range of entries. And what message is that sending out about the price of admission to the process of recognition for striving to make a difference?

    Is it some fund-raising thing? I’m astonished, utterly astonished.

    Too many of the problems around mental health issues have to do with invisibility, as your film so eloquently shows, and it’s a real shame that Mind perpetuate that ‘invisibility’ by making the price of entry to their ‘award’ so high. And it raises the question for me what exactly do these awards celebrate, if the high price excludes such quality?

    SO Tom, the £198 you’ve saved by not entering – use it wisely making more films that so eloquently explore these difficult, hidden issues which affect so many of us, and instead of propping some mental wealth award on the mantlepiece, bask in the glory of knowing that your film is, in my opinion, as well as Duck’s, a rather splendid piece of work.

  • Ok fair dos – just seen tweet from Mind saying its £££ for media companies but free for individuals. Good! Get this in there Tom.

    • Actually John this is not what Minds website currently states:

      ‘If you are a charity or an individual entrant please contact Keystone 01453 872731 to discuss a possible reduction in entry fee.’

      That’s very different from the message they are now relaying on twitter.

      • Aha. SO the tweet was a hasty attempt to redeem themselves.

        SO I’m presuming the reduction in entry fee must be 100% for individuals then?

        That aside, even for media companies, an entry fee of £198 is pushing it more than a bit.

        Watch this space then!

        • To be fair to MIND there are a couple of categories that are free to enter but not to submit a film.

  • John, Duck, thanks so much for the encouragement here – it really means a lot. I attended a photo-film training day back in 2010 and screened my first one at the PhotoVoice PICS festival this year – I owe a huge amount to your training already. Although it did take a while for me to get my act together.

    Looking more closely at the categories that MIND have created, it’s actually quite difficult to see where our film might fit. The ‘Documentary’ category stipulates that the film must be over 15 minutes, which counts us out. Temporarily, we’ve rammed it into the vague ‘Digital Media’ category – as that seems to be the only one we’re remotely eligible for. I think for us though, it’s about visibility and audience – so the posting on here means as much to us as any award, so thank you, again.

    And I hope to take you up on that offer also, would be great to see you all again.

duckrabbit is a production company formed by radio producer/journalist Benjamin Chesterton and photographer David White. We specialize in digital storytelling.

More articles from duckrabbit