Mind 'Book of the Year Award' winner – Mental Health Hero Bobby Baker

Mind 'Book of the Year Award' winner – Mental Health Hero Bobby Baker

By Rebecca Coxon

Here at Mental Healthy we’ve been hailing Bobby Baker as a hugely inspirational figure in the world of mental health – and even made her one of our Mental Health Heroes back in May. 

So we’re very pleased to hear that she has been nominated and selected as the winner of Mental Health Charity Mind’s ‘Book of the Year Award’ for 2011.

Her exceptionally honest and graphic book Diary Drawings: Mental Illness and Me reveals the 158 drawings originally released at the Wellcome Collection exhibition in 2009.

The collaboration of drawings and autobiographical commentary frankly expresses the internal anguish Bobby privately suffered whilst in therapy between 1997 and 2008.

Judges Fay Weldon, Blake Morrison and Michele Roberts chose Diary Drawings from over 100 entries to be chosen as the ‘greatest literary contribution to increasing understanding of mental health issues’ this year.

Judge Fay Weldon said of Diary Drawings:

“This is the first graphic autobiography we’ve ever had in Mind’s Book of the Year – and it was very graphic! 

"She’s such an energetic and lively person and this just shows through in her honest view of herself and people around her. You can’t help but respond to it."

2I think there’s a sea change with this year’s entries into a kind of acceptance about the possibilities and the future people with mental health problems can have.”

Upon hearing of her success, winner Bobby Baker said:

“I’ve scarcely ever won anything in my life! I can’t imagine anything I’d be more proud to win in my whole life than the Mind Book of the Year Award. 

"I’m beyond pleased and it means an awful lot to people like me who’ve had experience of mental illness and for my family too.”

Bobby Baker’s upcoming project ‘Mad Gyms and Kitchens is currently in production. It will premiere at Bath ICIA in October 2011 and will then tour nationally from January - June 2012.

Visit http://www.bobbybakersdailylife.com/ for more information including updates about the upcoming tour.

Pictures of Bobby Baker's drawings were kindly provided by Welcome Images

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