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26 days ago | 23-10-2017 | PRN

Canadian journalism award puts spotlight on workplace mental health

LONDON, ON: Journalists will compete for an award recognizing outstanding reporting this year on mental health issues in the workplace. The USD 1,000 prize is being offered by the Canadian Journalism Forum on Violence and Trauma, in connection with its widely-used journalist-to-journalist guide, Mindset: Reporting on Mental Health.

The Mindset Award for Workplace Mental Health Reporting will be open to Canadian journalists or media organizations working in any medium, in English or French, the Forum announced today. Submissions must have been published in Canada in the calendar year 2017. Self-published work is not eligible.

In French, the award is styled le prix En Tete pour le reportage sur la sante mentale en milieu de travail.

The award, inaugurated last year, is sponsored by the Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace. The Centre is a leading source of free, practical tools and resources designed to help all Canadian employers with the prevention, intervention and management of workplace mental health issues.

"This award is intended to encourage bold acts of journalism in the public interest - stories that are incisive or investigative," said Forum president Cliff Lonsdale.

The award's rules define "work" and "workplace" broadly, to capture volunteer as well as paid work and include the wide variety of places in which work is carried. Last year the main prize was awarded to the team that wrote The Globe & Mail's Unremembered series exposing the extent of suicide among Afghanistan war veterans. Subsidiary prizes were awarded to work published in The Ottawa Citizen and The Tyee.

Applications will open on January 22 and close on March 2, 2018. Details of the free application process will be posted on the Mindset and En-Tete websites. The award or awards will be presented in May, 2018, at the national conference of the Canadian Association of Journalists in Toronto.

"There's growing awareness that mental illness affects about 20% of Canadians at any given time," Lonsdale said, "so it's clearly an important issue for everyone - paid workers and volunteers, management and unions - in all kinds of work settings. There are lots of important stories for journalists to bring out of the shadows, breaking down stigma."

Mindset, and its French counterpart En-Tete : reportage et sante mentale, were published in 2014 to help general assignment reporters deal with breaking stories that involve mental illness. About 7,000 copies are in use in newsrooms and journalism schools across the country. The guides are supported by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, using a grant from Health Canada, and by CBC News. The Forum is solely responsible for their content.

The Forum is an educational charity concerned with the physical and emotional wellbeing of journalists, their audiences and those they report about.

Our thanks to CNW Group for supporting this announcement.

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