The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma announced the finalists for four awards for excellence in mental health reporting in Canada during 2021. Fifteen finalists were chosen out of 55 entries in the four competitions.
Awards for work in English are offered in the name of Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health and those in French in the name of its francophone counterpart En-Tête : reportage et santé mentale. More than 13,000 copies of these journalist-to-journalist guides are in use in newsrooms and journalism schools across the country.
Each awards stream now has two categories, workplace mental health and the mental health of young people. The finalists, listed by date of work, are:
Mindset Award for Workplace Mental Health Reporting:
Nadine Yousif, mental health reporter for The Toronto Star, for Stressed and overworked, nurses hailed as ‘health-care heroes’ are struggling to find help, published February 8, 2021.
Odette Auger, freelance reporter, in IndigiNews, for Workers tackling anti-Indigenous racism say they faced scapegoating and ‘backlash’ at Island Health, about the effects of the dismantling of a cultural safety team at a healthcare facility on Vancouver Island, published February 10, 2021.
Tom Murphy, Linda Guerriero, Rachel Ward, Patrick Callaghan, Liz Rosch and Loretta Hicks at CBC’s The Fifth Estate, for Broken Honour, an investigation into how military police and justice officials allow cases of sexual misconduct to go unpunished, and the mental health consequences; broadcast March 12, 2021.
Zosia Bielski, of The Globe and Mail, for Hospital COVID-19 visitation rules exact a heavy toll on families, ICU staff, published April 28, 2021.
Mindset Award for Reporting on the Mental Health of Young People:
Robert Cribb with Morgan Bockneck (Toronto Star) and Charlie Buckley, Giulia Fiaoni, Declan Keogh, Radha Kohly, Liam G. McCoy and Danielle Orr (Investigative Journalism Bureau at the University of Toronto) for the 2021 part of a two-year collaborative series Generation Distress, published in The Toronto Star on February 19, March 15, April 26 and November 21, 2021.
Katherine Engquist for her two-part series Mind the Gap in the weekly Victoria News on May 27 and June 3 ,2021 drawing attention to a shortage of mental health facilities for young people in the Greater Victoria Area of Vancouver Island.
Odette Auger, freelance reporter, for Gentle truth telling: How to talk to our youngest community members about residential schools, published in Windspeaker on July 8, 2021.
Simon Lewsen with photographer Chloē Ellington for Inside the Mental Health Crisis Facing College and University Students, a 7,000-word article with photographic portraits and multi-media, published in The Walrus October 26, 2021.
Le prix En-Tête pour le reportage en santé mentale au travail:
Angie Landry for Parler du suicide pour la suite du monde, published online by Radio-Canada on March 10, 2021. It highlighted how the psychological strains imposed on social workers by the COVID pandemic were worse than those of health care workers in the field of “physical health”.
Estelle Côté-Sroka for Des victimes de racisme bâillonnées dans la fonction publique fédérale – text and video published online by Radio-Canada on May 26, 2021. This was the product of a three-month investigation into racial discrimination in the federal public service, including its effect on mental health.
Isabelle Burgun for Le Milieu communautaire ébranlé par la pandémie in Agence Science-Presse on July 26, 2021. The story detailed how support organizations for the most disadvantaged struggled to maintain the social safety net during the pandemic.
Le prix En-Tête pour le reportage en santé mentale chez les jeunes:
Caroline Touzin for Une pandèmie dans la tête, in La Presse on June 12, 2021. She was the only journalist in Quebec to immerse herself in a psychiatric unit in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, to detail the impacts of public health measures on the mental health of adolescents there.
Annemarie Provost for Incursion dans une salle de classe de l’Institut Philippe-Pinel in Le Devoir on October 6, 2021. The Institute houses the most violent cases in its detention unit for adolescents. The story explored the daily life of a little-known school within the institution’s walls, examining how classes and teaching methods were adapted for young offenders with mental illnesses.
Florence Morin-Martel for Peut-on la garder en vie, s’il vous plaït ? in La Presse on October 12, 2021. The story highlighted a mother’s complaint that her 15-year-old daughter with depression could not access treatment for it – even though she was “a real ticking time-bomb” – because she is also on the autism spectrum.
Diamond Yao for De l’adoption à l’immigration, les défis de santé mentale dans la communauté asiatique in The Converse on November 17, 2021. The story examines shortcomings in the mental health system for Asians dealing with a range of stressful situations including adoption, in the context of rising anti-Asian sentiment in Quebec.
Winners and honourable mentions are chosen from among the finalists by four independent juries working in the language of the competition concerned. Winners will be announced at the annual awards gala of the Canadian Association of Journalists in Montreal on May 28.