This award aims to breakdown many of the misunderstandings and stigma that surrounds mental illness and recognises the personal achievements of people with mental illness, which will be inspiring to others in similar circumstances. Any person diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder is eligible and people can nominate themselves or can be nominated by friends or colleagues. All entries need to be endorsed by a healthcare professional.
2005 Winner - Dr Clive Travis from Bedford.
Clive overcome many bouts of severe illness after first being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1994. It took Clive many years to come to terms with what was happening to him and, in his words, 'accepting that one has an illness'. He worked with health professionals to determine his treatment preferences, for example through writing an advance statement, and he identified this as a turning point.
Clive has used his experiences to help many other people in similar positions: he has written a book, now ready for publication, set up a website to share his experiences of paranoid schizophrenia and given many talks as an expert patient to improve understanding of this illness and reduce stigma.
The judging panel was very impressed with his determination to tackle head on everything that life has thrown at him. Liz Felton, Deputy Chief Executive of Rethink and member of the judging panel said "It was actually a far easier decision than normal. Clive showed great tenacity in taking control of his life and has demonstrated great strength in fighting the discrimination and stigma people with mental illness face on a daily basis. I am sure that he will be a source of strength for others facing similar problems."