The ten runners who featured in the two-part BBC One documentary Mind over Marathon have won the Virgin Money Giving Mind Speaking Out Award for 2017. It is the first time that Mind, the mental health charity, has given the prestigious award to more than one winner, but in a year that has been exceptional for people speaking publicly about their mental health, the charity wanted to recognise the whole group as a symbol of their remarkable achievements.

Prince Harry, together with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, this year spearheaded the Heads Together campaign, of which Mind is a charity partner. The Heads Together campaign, which aims to change the conversation about mental health, was also the Charity of the Year for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon.

Prince Harry said at the awards ceremony:

“At the beginning of the year William, Catherine and I believed the country was on the cusp of something special. We noticed after decades of hard work from dedicated campaigners, people seemed ready for a different kind of conversation on mental health.

“Everyone was tired of stigma and scare stories about mental illness, and frustrated it was always being written up in a negative way. They saw that their children were emotionally open in new ways that seemed positive and empowering. Finally, we were all beginning to grasp that mental fitness was an issue worth talking about for every one of us. They were ready for a truly national conversation on mental health.

With the help of people in this room, this is exactly what we’ve had. In classrooms, in workplaces, around the dinner table, between friends even between strangers. People are now really talking about their own wellbeing and looking to help those around them. And while just talking doesn’t cure all ills, we are now shattering the silence that was a real barrier to progress.

We are grateful that so many in the media got behind the Heads Together campaign. You helped make it the success it has been. But the biggest thanks has to go to the British public. You embraced it, you engaged with it, you normalised it. I’m sure millions of you were surprised by how many people around you had suffered without you knowing. And at the same time, what a relief it was that you were now able to share your own hardships and experiences. Whether you were the talker or the listener, we have all learned a great deal about ourselves and become better people for it.“