A total of ten finalists have been chosen for the 2020 Mindset Award for Workplace Mental Health Reporting and its French counterpart prix En-Tête pour le reportage en santé mentale au travail – five for each award.
The annual prizes are offered by the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma and are sponsored by Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, courtesy of Canada Life. They honour excellence in incisive or investigative reporting in keeping with the recommendations of Forum’s twin guides to mental health reporting in Canada, Mindset and En-Tête.
The Mindset finalists, in order of publication are:
Erin Anderssen of The Globe and Mail for her January 18, 2020, article Half of Canadians have too few local psychiatrists, or none at all. How can we mend the mental-health gap? With extensive data and interviews with more than two dozen psychiatrists across Canada, the story examined ways in which working practices among psychiatrists can contribute to a shortage of mental health services for Canadians who need them.
Samantha Beattie with Eva Lam for their July 22, 2020, report for HuffPost Canada Police crisis teams are in short supply as mental health calls multiply in Canada. This was a long-form data investigation on the police’s role during wellness checks, and how mental illness is responded to as a crime because of the lack of specialized training and teams to treat these incidents more appropriately. Because there is no centralized data for police forces and their responses to mental health calls, Samantha reached out to regional forces across the country as well as the RCMP to piece together and harmonize the numbers. She found a heart-breaking picture.
Zosia Bielski, a reporter with The Globe and Mail, for her article on August 2, 2020 In sickness and in health: COVID-19 pandemic stress tests marriages of health care workers on the front lines. Doctors, nurses and personal support workers bring home fear, stress, guilt and helplessness after traumatizing shifts. The story featured insights of pioneering psychiatrists, psychologists, marriage counsellors and researchers working to help healthcare workers in real time, before the pandemic’s second wave hit.
Wendy Gillis, crime reporter with The Toronto Star, for her story published September 13, 2020: Six years. More than $150,000 in legal fees. She stood up to sexual harassment inside Toronto police, and won – but at what cost? This reporting exposes, in detail, the mental health impact of workplace discrimination and sexual harassment. It also lays bare the crippling mental health challenges brought on by the process of fighting this discrimination in one of the only venues available, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal.
Jeremy Hainsworth, reporter with Business in Vancouver, for his December 10, 2020, story: Nurses deal with COVID ‘terror’ as stress, burnout, suicidal thinking rise. Acknowledging his own PTSD connected to his work in journalism, the reporter felt a personal concern when an intensive care unit nurse suggested he write about health care workers beginning to show signs of similar distress. “What it came down to,” he explains, “was recognizing a kindred spirit wanting to help others and knowing I had the skills and opportunity to do my best to help.”
The En-Tête and Mindset awards carry first prizes of $1,000, with additional prizes awarded for honourable mentions.
Mindset awards are normally presented at the annual awards gala of the Canadian Association of Journalists, but will be presented this year in a virtual format on May 29 because of the pandemic.