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Special Events

Dying for Help: A Virtual Event Featuring Washington Post Enterprise Reporter William Wan

January 18, 2024 at 6:00 PM to January 19, 2024 at 7:30 PM Eastern


A virtual event to celebrate the recipient of the 2023 Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media.
The 2023 Austen Riggs Erikson Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media was awarded to William Wan for his four-part series in the Washington Post, "Dying for Help: How America’s mental health system is failing mentally vulnerable and suicidal youths.”
This virtual event will feature remarks by and conversation with William Wan along with remarks by Austen Riggs Center Medical Director/CEO Eric M. Plakun, MD, and Director of the Erikson Institute for Education, Research, and Advocacy, Jane G. Tillman, PhD. In addition, attendees will be invited to ask questions.
William will be speaking about why he has chosen to write specifically about mental health and what his approach is, including:
  • How he often thinks about the work he’s doing as helping others turn their pain into power.
  • How he deals with ethically difficult situations like interviewing suicidal people without worsening their condition or causing contagion in suicidal thinking.
  • How he manages his own mental health while immersing himself in the trauma and pain of others.