The Mental Health Foundation – in association with the Foundation’s Out of the Blue depression awareness campaign and Like Minds, Like Mine – is now seeking applications for the 2010 New Zealand Mental Health Media Grants. This year, two grants of up to $12,000 each are available to applicants who have a journalism or creative project that focuses on mental health and wellbeing and helps reduce stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.
Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, says, “Having time to investigate and fully explore an idea is just one of the opportunities that a New Zealand Mental Health Media Grant provides recipients.
“Another is sharing the completed project, which has evolved from the idea, with the wider community.”
Inaugural applications were received in 2007 and over the past three years the Media Grants have attracted 30 journalism applications and 101 creative applications. Four journalism projects and 11 creative projects have received a grant for projects covering the spectrum of art, music, theatre, film, creative writing and journalism.
“Not only has each project has been an individual triumph, they have all made a unique contribution to decreasing stigma and discrimination and raising awareness around mental illness,” says Ms Clements.
“Grant projects have been particularly successful in challenging people’s perceptions of the experience of mental illness and the journey to recovery.”
Ms Clements says amongst the Media Grants many successes have been 2007 recipient Jessica Le Bas’s collection of poetry, Walking to Africa, and 2009 recipient Michelanne Forster’s play TIC TIC, which premiered at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival in Auckland.
In 2009 six recipients were chosen: Gareth Watkins (journalism, Wellington), Yvonne O’Hara (journalism, Otago), samRB (creative, Auckland), Stephen McCurdy (creative, Auckland), Michelanne Forster (creative, Auckland) and Graham Bishop (creative, Dunedin).
Applications for 2010 proposals opened 30 June and close 24 September 2010.