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Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media

This prize recognized a select group of media professionals, including journalists, writers, and others who created exemplary work that contributed to a deeper understanding of and greater public awareness about mental health issues.

The Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media will be on hiatus in 2024; there will be no prize awarded in 2024.
The news of the day is infused with issues that affect mental health–social justice, climate change, strength and resilience in the face of COVID-19, access to healthcare, or any number of other topics. We want to recognize the very best work with our media prize.
The prize carried an award of $3,000 and was presented at an event where the honoree (or honorees) were invited to speak about their work.
The prize was juried by a committee of Riggs clinicians and Trustees who considered the work of candidates nominated by their peers as well as unsolicited nominations.
To be eligible, work must have been written in English and intended for the layperson. The deadline for 2023 submissions has past and the prize will be on hiatus in 2024.
Entries published in any of the following categories were eligible:
  • Newspapers and newspaper websites
  • Magazines and magazine websites
  • Online-only news publications
  • Network and nationally distributed cable programs
  • Small, medium and major market television stations
  • Independent productions and films
  • Local and national radio
  • Web-based productions
  • Commentary and Opinion
  • Longform Reporting (series or lengthy articles or broadcasts)
  • Books
Past Media Prize Recipients
Below is a list of prize recipients by year.
Patrick Sammon and Bennett Singer received the 2022 prize for their acclaimed documentary CURED.
Margie Friedman and Barbara Multer-Wellin received the 2021 prize for their documentary, Orchestrating Change.
Hannah Dreier received the 2020 prize for her Washington Post piece "Trust and Consequences."
There were two prize recipients in 2019:
Kiese Laymon for his book Heavy
Stephen L. Garrett, Christopher McDonough, Kelsey Arbuckle, and Alexa Fults for their documentary Mine 21
There were two prize recipients in 2018:
John Green for his book Turtles All the Way Down
NPR's Hidden Brain hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced by Tara Boyle
The 2017 recipient was the Boston Globe Spotlight Team (Maria Cramer, Scott Helman, Michael Rezendes, Jenna Russell, Todd Wallack, Scott Allen, and Anica Butler) for their piece “The San Antonio Way: How one Texas city took on mental health as a community – and became a national model."
There were three prize recipients in 2016:
Benedict Carey, a science reporter at the New York Times
Neal Shusterman, a novelist, screenwriter, and television writer
Steve Silberman, a science wrtier
There were three prize recipients in 2015:
Alison Bechdel, a cartoonist / memoirist
Stephanie McCrummen, a reporter for the Washington Post
William Todd Schultz, a psychobiography writer / editor
There were three prize recipients in 2014:
Andrew Solomon, a writer / lecturer
Scott Stossel, an author / editor
David Finkel, an investigative reporter / author
There were three prize recipients in 2013:
Rachel Aviv, a journalist / essayist
Nick Flynn, an author / memorist
There were three prize recipients in 2012:
Vaughan Bell, a clinical psychologist / neuroscientist / writer
Gary Greenberg, a psychotherapist / writer
Gregg Zoroya, a writer / reporter
There were three prize recipients in 2011:
Jennifer Senior, a writer
Carl Elliott, a bio-ethicist / author
Karen Brown, a reporter
There were three prize recipients in 2010:
Erica Goode, a writer / editor
Richard Simon, an editor (deceased)
Alix Spiegel, a reporter

Contact Us for More

For more information about the Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media, feel free to reach out.