Irish Times article about pregnancy and suicide wins mental health award

June Shannon wins prize for feature published in The Irish Times


A feature published in The Irish Times took the top prize in one of the categories in the 2019 Headline Mental Health Media Awards, which were announced at a ceremony in Dublin on Wednesday. The awards – which were established more than a decade ago and relaunched this year – recognise excellence in the coverage of mental health issues.

June Shannon.
June Shannon.

In the category, Mental Health Journalism: National Print/Online, June Shannon won the top prize for an article published in the Health and Family Supplement in The Irish Times: Pregnancy is when a woman’s mental health can be most at risk.

In the piece she wrote: “Pregnancy is not a protective factor for mental illness. On the contrary; it is a time in a woman’s life when her mental health and the wellbeing of her baby can be most at risk.”

In the category, Mental Health Content: Special Interest, Geraldine Walsh was nominated for a feature in The Irish Times about postnatal depression and anxiety – PND: ‘This new baby, with a head of blonde hair, was perfect. I was not’ – which drew from personal experience.

In the piece, she wrote: “The elation I felt after she was born was a concoction of hormones, pain medication and relief. It was a forged feeling of being in control, before the volcano erupted. Postnatal depression (PND) and anxiety are not something you ever prepare yourself for when reading the parenting books, folding the Babygros, testing the baby monitor and decorating the nursery. It won’t happen. Not to me.”

Paul Fennessy from The42 won the award in this category for his feature on Irish racewalker Kate Veale – A one-time world champion Irish prodigy’s descent into hell and back.

The Irish Times was also shortlisted for The Headline Voice Media Award – which was “for a publisher, in print or online, or broadcaster who has demonstrated excellence in the quality and quantity of coverage given to people with self-experience of mental ill health”. The award was shared jointly by and Lunchtime Live on Newstalk.

2019 Winners

Mental Health Journalism | National Print/Online
‘Pregnancy is when mental health can be most at risk’, June Shannon for The Irish Times.
Other nominees: ‘Why it’s not always ‘good to talk’…’, Stella O’Malley for The Irish Independent. ‘You’ve got everything now, you should be fine’: How youth workers are helping LGBTI+ people post-marriage referendum’, Orla Ryan for

Mental Health Journalism | Local Print/Online
‘I hid it so well. No one knew’, Carol Byrne for The Clare Champion.
Other nominees: ‘What is happening to our young people?’, Emma Connolly for The Southern Star; ‘Permanent base for Limerick Crisis Response Team’, Nicole Glennon for Limerick Post.

Mental Health Broadcasting | One-off Documentary
‘My Other Life: Ireland’s Young and Their Mental Health’, Edvinas Maciulevicius for RTÉ 2.
Other nominees: ‘Documentary On One: The Yellow Line’, Ronan Kelly for RTÉ Radio 1. Documentary On One: The Undetectables’, Nicoline Greer for RTÉ Radio 1

Mental Health Broadcasting | Current Affairs Programme
‘Katie Hannon on Suicide’, Liveline on RTÉ Radio 1.
Other nominees: ‘Alan Quinlan opens up about his mental health’, Newstalk Breakfast on Newstalk. ‘Living with Depression’, Lunchtime Live on Newstalk

Mental Health Content | Special Interest
‘A one-time world champion Irish prodigy’s descent into hell and back’, Paul Fennessy for
Other nominees: ‘PND: ‘This new baby, with a head of blonde hair, was perfect. I was not’, Geraldine Walsh, for The Irish Times; ‘Light At The End Of the Tunnel’, Margaret Hawkins for Irish Farmers Journal, Irish Country Living supplement.

Mental Health Content | Online
‘Where There’s a Will’, A Lust for Life Podcast.
Other nominees: ‘I lost two sons to suicide - I want people to know it’s okay to have problems’, Michelle Hennessy for Podcast; ‘Are we stressing our children out?’, Dr Malie Coyne for RTÉ Brainstorm.

Headline Voice Media Award in partnership with See Change
Joint winner:; Newstalk for Lunchtime Live.
Other nominee: The Irish Times

Headline Impact Award
The Blindboy Podcast.
Other nominees: Newstalk for Lunchtime Live;

Headline Student Journalist Award
Hand in Hand, Jesse Melia of Technological University Dublin.
Other nominees: In Pursuit of Treatment and Identity, Sam Cox of Trinity College Dublin; The Watchers Who Show a Way Out of the Darkness, Nicole Glennon of University Limerick.

Special Recognition
Blessing Dada for Why I advocate for mental health among minorities article featured on
Other nominees: Jess McCaul for Inpatient Treatment article featured on; Meggan O’Reilly for The Happy Plug Podcast.