A STUDENT journalist has won a national award for a film studying how his own depression affects his family.
Josh Jackson, 21, of Owen Close, Barnack, took home the Student Journalist of the Year prize at the annual Mind Media Awards.
His 10-minute television film, Suffering In Silence, investigates why he suffers from depression even though he comes from a loving home and family.
Winning the award was a huge surprise for Josh. He said: “I was over the moon. It was one of those occasions where it was quite surreal. It was fantastic.”
Josh, who spent three years studying journalism at the University of Lincoln, has suffered from depression since he was 16. Initially his family struggled to accept his illness.
He said: “It took a lot of time for us to come to terms with the fact that I was ill. But you have to deal with it as being part of me and part of life.”
Making the film helped Josh come to terms with how his family felt about his illness and why other people reacted in certain ways.
He added: “I decided that it was the right time to talk about it and to look more at the effect it was having on the people around me.
“It was quite therapeutic. It was good to start to understand people’s perceptions of what had happened and what the impact of someone that age being ill in that way was.”
Josh was joined by his mother Tessa and father Ian at the awards ceremony at the British Film Institute in London last week.
He said: “I am so grateful to those who supported me in the making of this film and those who continue to support me in my personal life, especially my parents.”
Josh will graduate from his university course in January and has already set up a film production company, Si Doux Productions.
He hopes to make more fly-on-the-wall documentaries in the near future.
The Mind Media Awards were set up by the mental health charity Mind and aim to recognise the best portrayals of mental distress and reporting of mental health in the press, broadcast and social media.
The main Mind Award is a prestigious honour and is competed for by all the mainstream newspapers and broadcasters.
Principal lecturer at the University of Lincoln’s school of journalism Barnie Choudhury said: “Josh’s film was very powerful. To be shortlisted for a national award is an excellent achievement.
“You never expect to win so this is an incredible bonus. But more than that, as the chairman of a mental health charity, I know how difficult it is for someone with a mental illness to break down the stigma and society’s barriers, even in the 21st century. Josh’s was a remarkable feat.”
Josh received his award from the doctor, journalist and writer Max Pemberton.
He was praised by the veteran documentary film maker Professor Roger Graef, who asked Josh to contact him whenever he liked. Broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell also commended his efforts.
Josh has also been invited to appear on BBC Radio 1’s Sunday Surgery to raise awareness of mental illness among young people.