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The Schizophrenia Commission

by Rethink Mental Illness

Summary of work

Winner: The Schizophrenia Commission

Schizophrenia is one of the most misunderstood and feared illnesses in the UK. Despite the difficulties that people with schizophrenia have with the NHS, social care and the welfare system, the media generally only want to talk about it when a horrific crime has been committed. This campaign not only put schizophrenia at the top of the news agenda but also managed to shift the debate from violence to the ‘catastrophic failings’ in treatment and care for patients.

By focusing on a single compelling message, working closely with key journalists and opinion formers and using experts as spokespeople, we gained unprecedented media coverage including BBC Breakfast, The Today Programme, Channel 4 News, Sky News, This Morning, The Times, the Independent and the Guardian. Even health minister Norman Lamb backed our call. We have been able to secure real commitment to improve the lives of patients including a ‘development network’ of eight NHS mental health trusts and a private hospital, which will implement the changes we are calling for, and we have increased our brand awareness.

Judges comments

This well-constructed entry explained how the team really delivered the policy agenda. They made excellence use of social media and their tailored content was used superbly to reach the audiences and the people that they needed to reach. This resulted in real change and the debate that they created is alive and underway today.

Highly commended

Blood Art-ery - by The Red Consultancy for NHS Blood and Transplant

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Key dates

Entry deadline 5 March 2020
Extended entry deadline 12 March 2020
Judging day 1 7 May 2020
Judging day 2 21 May 2020
Awards Ceremony 2 July 2020

Contact information:

For sponsorship opportunities:
Sales Team
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414200

General event enquiries:
Debbie Tuesley
Tel: +44 (0)1372 414243

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Behind the Judging: Communiqué Awards
Find out what co-the chair of judges Annabelle Sandeman, senior judge Neil Flash and previous award winner Jan Steele have to say on how the judging process works, what the judges focus on, tips on what helps and what distracts within an entry and get insights into how previous winners have created that stand out submission.