Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health Reporting

The National Press Foundation has established a  journalism award to honor excellence in mental health reporting. The award, which carries a $10,000 prize, is called the Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health Reporting, in memory of the Potomac, Maryland philanthropist and activist. Mattingly’s family decided to establish the award in the aftermath of her tragic death in 2014. The award is open to any U.S.-based journalist at a U.S.-based news organization, including print, broadcast and online journalists. The award recognizes exemplary journalism that illuminates and advances the understanding of mental health issues and treatments for the illness.

John Schmid of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is the 2017 winner of the National Press Foundation’s Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health Reporting.

Schmid combined data and storytelling to trace the aftershocks of Milwaukee’s collapsed manufacturing economy and the impact it had on generations of children.

NPF judges said: “The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel put mental illness into rare perspective with a compelling explanatory project that illustrated the social and political costs of childhood trauma. Told through the lens of a young girl who is a survivor, “A Time to Heal” walked readers through the crushing litany of adverse childhood experiences that can harm and define children into adulthood.”

After the series was published, Oprah Winfrey highlighted Schmid’s work in a piece on “60 Minutes.”

The judges awarded honorable mentions to:

• ProPublica, for a harrowing account of a Mississippi teenager who was jailed in 2012 for stabbing his father’s girlfriend and then languished behind bars for 1,266 days waiting for a psychiatric evaluation.

• The Guardian, for reporting on mental health problems among farmers, who have a higher suicide rate than any other occupation in the U.S.