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The Cipla/SADAG Mental Health Journalism Awards 2020

Your work helps to make a difference, save a life

Since the inception of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) 26 years ago, one of the most powerful and impactful tools used to reach all South Africans has been the media.

SADAG in partnership with Cipla, are therefore proud to announce the Cipla Mental Health Journalism Awards, to honour outstanding work which helps to create awareness, advocate change and empower people to seek help. Cipla will be sponsoring three Mental Health Journalism Fellowships for 2020, in the fields of print, broadcast and online journalism.

From 2004 to 2012, 16 South African journalists were awarded the Rosalynn Carter Center Mental Health Journalism Fellowships. Based on these fellowships offered by the Carter Center in Atlanta, USA, the Cipla Mental Health Journalism Awards require the entrants to submit a proposed project with the objective of increasing knowledge and helping to break the stigma associated with mental health.

Paul Miller, CEO of Cipla South Africa, says: "Over the past couple of years, Cipla has been working to shift the narrative from mental illness to mental health and break the stigma so that people can realise that there is help and there is hope. Mental health and the issues surrounding it are still largely misunderstood so there is dire need to educate people about the fact that the brain is also an organ which can become ill. In South Africa, specifically, mental health is not always considered newsworthy, is shrouded in stereotypes, and limited knowledge about the topic means generally only major psychiatric illnesses are placed under the spotlight."

The three winners of this Fellowship will each receive a R20,000 cash prize. To enter, visit for more details. The winners will be announced at the Cipla psychiatric congress in August 2020.

Entry criteria for the Cipla Mental Health Journalism Award 2020 include:
  • Have at least three years' experience in print, broadcast or online journalism (writing, reporting, editing, producing, filmmaking or broadcasting).
  • Journalists must have buy-in from their editors/producers in terms of publishing/broadcasting their project work.
Journalists need to submit the following required application material:
  • A detailed CV including their work history, a list of representative publications, membership in professional organisations, and major journalism prizes or awards.
  • An informal essay (maximum 1,000 words) with reasons for applying and how this Fellowship will benefit their work.
  • An outline of the project title and proposed project plan. Discuss the significance of the topic and explain the feasibility of the project. Detail the potential impact on reducing the stigma and educating society on mental health.
  • Samples of professional work: Submit up to three examples of your work, including articles on mental health issues.
  • Letters of recommendation and support: Provide letters from two people endorsing your work and one letter from your publisher, editor, producer, manager, or director, supporting the application. Freelancers will need letters from the publications or stations that will be publishing or broadcasting their work.
  • Material must be submitted to az.gro.ytexina@aidem.

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