Washington State Mental Health and Suicide Reporting Award

Call for entries: Washington State Mental Health and Suicide Reporting Award

$500 award honors outstanding in-depth coverage of suicide and mental health; deadline to enter is Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

Entries are now being accepted for the 2018 Washington Award for Excellence in Coverage of Mental Health and Suicide. The award is jointly sponsored by Forefront Suicide Prevention and University of Washington Department of Communication’s Journalism Program to honor Washington State journalism that improves the public’s understanding of suicide prevention, behavioral illnesses, treatment, recovery, public policy and related topics.

Submissions will be accepted through July 31, 2018.

The award-winning journalist will receive $500 and be honored at Forefront Suicide Prevention’s Annual Fundraiser in fall of 2018.

Entries may include columns, investigative articles, editorials, broadcast segments, news, features, series, blogs and videos. Journalists must submit their own entries. The submission must have been published (online or in print) or broadcast between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018.

Judging criteria will include how well the entry:

  • Clarifies public understanding of issues experienced by people living with any or all of the following: mental health challenges; substance abuse; thoughts, attempts or completion of suicide;
  • Conveys hope, recovery, and resiliency in the lives of people who are living with mental illnesses, recovering from substance abuse or suicide ideation;
  • Sheds light on the importance of mental health treatment and suicide prevention in the community;
  • Follows the AP Stylebook entry on mental illnessNational Recommendations for Reporting on Suicide and Forefront’s Media Guidelines, and avoids terms and descriptions that contribute to stigma or suicide contagion, including in the headline and other graphic elements.

Entries should be submitted by email, with the subject line “Media Award 2018” to Kristen Morgan no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 31st.  

Please include:

  • a link to the entry
  • its headline and the date it first appeared
  • name, address and contact information for the journalist(s) who created it
  • the name of the news organization

If a publicly accessible link is not available, send the entry via e-mail attachment (ideally, showing original presentation). There is no entry fee, and multiple entries may be submitted.

Judging will be by a panel of experts drawn from mental health professionals, UW Department of Communication faculty, and individuals whose lives have been affected by mental illness, substance abuse or a death by suicide.

About the Washington Mental Health and Suicide Reporting Award

Previous winners are Bill Radke and Matt Martin of KUOW, Deborah Horne, Michelle Millman, and Monique Ming Laven of KIRO News, Diana Hefley of Everett Daily Herald, Jacob Jones of the Inlander, Leah Sottile of the Pacific Islander, Maureen O’Hagan of Pacific Northwest Magazine and the Seattle Times, and Scott Hewitt of the Columbian.

For more information, contact Kristen Morgan, Communications and Development Manager at Forefront Suicide Prevention.