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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 10th March 2023
Extended entry deadline 17th March 2023
(additional fee applies)
Judging days 4th, 5th and 19th
May 2023
Awards Ceremony 6th July 2023

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