Emmerdale has won a gong at the prestigious Mind Media Awards 2012. The awards ceremony, hosted by Stephen Fry at the British Film Institute, brought Frankie Sandford, Andrew Flintoff, Denise Welch, Gok Wan and other celebrities together to celebrate the best portrayals and reporting of mental health in the media.

The award for Soap went to Emmerdale, for the character Zak Dingle. A long standing stalwart of soap land, Zak reached crisis point as he struggled to come to terms with his depression and the stigma that surrounded it. Script writers undertook deep consultation with Lol Butterfield, a case study who battled his own mental health problems, to create a storyline that avoided sensation for a realistic depiction of depression and psychoses. Actor Steve Halliwell and Lol were reunited at last night’s ceremony to celebrate the win.

Stephen Fry says, “As Mind’s President I’m thrilled to host this year’s Mind Media Awards. The media, in all its glorious incarnations, has enormous power to influence people’s perceptions of mental health, not least in being able to challenge the stigma that sadly still surrounds it.

“The Mind Media Awards is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate those actors, writers, programme makers, journalists and bloggers who are helping to dispel the myths around mental health and reduce discrimination.”

Other winners include ITV’s chat show Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, Channel 4’s drama Homeland and Vasoulla Savvidou who let cameras into her life to share her experiences of hoarding on the BBC One documentary Britain’s Biggest Hoarder.

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