Campbell wins Mind champion award


The former Downing Street communications director, Alastair Campbell, has won an award for his campaigning on mental health issues.
Campbell, who secured more than half of a public vote, was named champion of the year by the mental health charity Mind at an awards ceremony in London on 14 May.
Campbell has spoken openly about his mental health experiences, fronted an anti-stigma campaign, and produced a documentary that described his own breakdown, as well as writing a novel about a psychotherapist and his clients.
He said: “Change is happening, and I really feel we are close to the tipping point in terms of people’s greater understanding and society’s greater openness about mental illness.
“I am pleased and proud that people think I have played a part in that.”
Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive, said: “Alastair has offered tremendous support through his public discussion of his experiences of mental distress.
“He has done so much for the mental health movement and this award expresses the appreciation of the public for his hard work.”
Mind’s book of the year was awarded to The Boy with the Topknot: a memoir of love, secrets and lies in Wolverhampton, by the Times journalist Sathnam Sanghera.
Sanghera’s book describes how he grew up in Wolverhampton, before discovering at the age of 24 that his father and sister had both had schizophrenia throughout his childhood.
One of the judges, the author Blake Morrison, described the book as “brave, candid, dark, yet also hilarious”.
Sanghera said: “There are hardly any books about Asian communities’ experiences of mental health problems, so I hope people read this book and it leads to more understanding.”