Aug. 11, 2021 – The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) is partnering with Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma (the Forum) on a new pair of journalism awards for reporting on the mental health of young people.
Starting in January, journalists working in English will be able to compete for the Mindset Award for Reporting on Young People’s Mental Health, while francophone journalists can enter a parallel competition for le prix En-Tête pour le reportage en santé mentale chez les jeunes.
CMHA is the official sponsor of the awards, which will be run by the Forum and independently adjudicated.
Mindset and En-Tête are Canada’s leading guides to mental health reporting, produced by the Forum on a journalist-to-journalist basis. First published in 2014, they have expanded through three editions, with financial support from the Mental Health Commission of Canada. More than 10,000 copies have been distributed in newsrooms and journalism schools across the country. CBC News is the official media partner in the project.
The Forum, an educational charity focused on safety and mental health issues within and around journalism, has editorial control of the guides, which encourage informed and ethical journalistic engagement with mental health issues.
“CMHA’s decision to support these new Mindset and En-Tête awards is highly significant,” said Forum president Cliff Lonsdale. “It shows how journalists and mental health professionals who understand and respect each other’s needs and priorities, can work together for the public good.”
“At the Canadian Mental Health Association, we know that language matters when it comes to mental health,” said Margaret Eaton, CMHA National CEO. “We rely on good journalism to help us advance society’s acceptance and understanding of mental health-related issues and we are proud to laud those who do it so responsibly and so well.”
The Mindset and En-Tête awards were inaugurated five years ago, with annual competitions for reporting in either language about workplace mental health. They are sponsored by Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, an initiative of Canada Life, which also acts as a resource for journalists engaged in the subject.
Presentation of the Mindset and En-Tête awards is included in annual awards galas organized by the Canadian Association of Journalists and la Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec.
“We hope these new awards will be first steps towards expanding prize competitions to cover more of the mental health topics addressed in the guides,” Lonsdale said.
He added: “I think the pandemic has really brought home the importance of mental health and how it concerns us all. There are big issues to be tackled and journalism has an important role to play here, as it does in many other social issues.”
The new awards have been framed to embrace stories involving the mental health of children, youth and young adults, including a broad range of issues, situations or conditions that can contribute to suicide.
Jonny Morris, CEO of CMHA in British Columbia, whose initiative led to CMHA’s sponsorship of the awards, said: “Journalists have such a critical role in inspiring conversations and normalizing talking about mental health. By shining a light on mental health stories in a compassionate, thoughtful way, so many talented journalists are helping people to reach out and access care and support; it’s important to recognize their work.”
Each of the new awards will offer main prizes of $1,000, with additional prizes for Honourable Mentions. Work first published or broadcast in Canadian media at any time in 2021 will be eligible, with no entry fee. Online applications will open on January 10, 2022, with winners to be announced in May. Rules are available on the Forum’s website.
The Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma is a charity dedicated to the physical safety and mental well-being of journalists, their audiences and the people on whom they report. We acknowledge the support of the Globe and Mail, CBC News and Radio-Canada. We thank Cision for the publication of this news release.
For further information:
For more information about the Forum or the awards, please see the Mindset website www.mindset-mediaguide.ca or the En-Tête website www.en-tete.ca or contact: Jane Hawkes, Executive Producer, Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, 519 852-4946, email@example.com
For more information about CMHA, please contact: Katherine Janson, National Director of Communications, (416) 646-5557 ext. 24923, firstname.lastname@example.org