Janey Antoniou award winners
Current winner – Matthew Axbey
"I first realised something was wrong during my first term at university. It didn’t take too long to work out what: I had depression. I would spend the next few years slowly coming to terms with that. My main involvement with campaigning for better mental health came during my year at Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU). Student Minds is the charity dedicated to improving the state of students’ mental health. I set up a campaigns group affiliated to Student Minds and set about doing what I could to make a difference. Another project I got going was setting up a Nightline in Canterbury."
Read Matthew's blog in full
2016 winner – Tamanna Miah
‘ As a young Asian girl I found it particularly difficult to open up about my mental health, as there is quite a lot of stigma and shame when it comes to mental illness in the Asian community. Rather than deter me, my experiences have motivated me to campaign for improved mental health services as I really believe that access to the right care and support can save lives.’
2015 winner – Steven Gilbert
“My mental health difficulties began in my late teens and continued with bouts of depression during my postgraduate studies. I was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder and more recently complex PTSD. I’ve been really active as a Time to Change champion and worked on the 300 Voices project to engage young African and Caribbean men. I will continue to fight for parity of esteem and to reduce stigma.”
2014 winner – Chris Lynch
Chris, our 2014 winner, works tirelessly as a mental health campaigner and is a service-user representative for many organisations, including the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the British Psychological Society. Chris is also a group coordinator for Rethink Mental Illness and facilitates the running of two successful evening groups for people in the local community who need support.
On winning the award, Chris said, “I’m passionate about support for one reason: I received so much of it myself when I needed it the most. So many people don’t have this support, and this is what has and always will motivate me to help wherever I can, in whatever way I can.”
2013 winner – Jonny Benjamin
2013 was the first year of the Janey Antoniou award. It was presented to mental health blogger Jonny Benjamin, who’s account of living with schizoaffective disorder helped launch Jonny as an international campaigner and inspired our judges. Jonny now has over 10,000 followers on his You Tube account and has had his story turned into the film ‘Finding Mike’ plus an accompanying stage show.
Jonny said ‘I was really honoured and very, very touched. To be considered for it was amazing and to win was amazing. I don’t do what I do to get awards – I do it to stop people going through what I did in silence. The only way we’ll get rid of stigma is if we are more open
Do you know someone who has dedicated their time improve the lives of people with mental illness? Nominate them for a 2018 Janey Award.