John Schmid of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is the 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 National Press Foundation and The Luv u Project established this journalism award in 2015 to honor excellence in mental health reporting. The award honors the memory of Carolyn C. Mattingly, a Potomac, Maryland, philanthropist and activist. The award recognizes exemplary journalism that illuminates and advances the understanding of mental health issues and treatments for the illness. It carries a $10,000 prize.
The judges selected Schmid’s work from 49 entries. This year’s judges were Amalie Nash of USA Today Network, Carole Feldman of The Associated Press, Rosalind Adams of BuzzFeed News and Robert Meyers, president emeritus of NPF.
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.
The National Press Foundation is an independent nonprofit that is run by and for journalists. NPF’s sole mission is to educate journalists about today’s most pressing issues and critical toolbox training.