2016 Erikson Institute Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media Colloquy Presentations

Published on 
September 2016

Every day, the public’s understanding of mental health issues is shaped by print, online press and broadcast media, as well as by the arts. The purpose of the Erikson Institute Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media colloquy is to recognize and encourage writers, journalists, and media experts who have produced sophisticated and accessible work on mental health issues and to learn about various aspects of carrying out this work. The colloquy featured the 2016 winners of the Erikson Institute Prize for Excellence in Mental Media: Benedict Carey, Neal Shusterman, and Steve Silberman - who have brought nuance, compassion and rigor to their writing and reporting on issues related to mental health. 

Introduction: Jane G. Tillman, PhD, ABPP


Introduction: Joshua Wolf Shenk


Benedict Carey

Benedict Carey, a reporter covering brain and behavior topics at The New York Times. He has written pieces on the problems of replicating research studies in psychology, suicide in veterans, and beautifully-crafted stories about people suffering from schizophrenia. More recently, he wrote a stunning series about mental health care in West Africa. He has also written three books: Island of the Unknowns, a math adventure; Poison Most Vial, a murder mystery involving forensic toxicology, and How We Learn: The Surprising Truth about When, Where and Why It Happens


Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman is a New York Times bestselling novelist, screenwriter, and television writer. He has written over thirty novels for young adults, including the Unwind Dystology, which is currently in production as a feature film. His novel Challenger Deep, a stunning and insightful account of a teenager's schizophrenic breakdown, won the 2015 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. He is currently adapting Challenger Deep for 20th Century Fox as a feature film, and Tesla’s Attic with co-writer Eric Elfman for television.


Steve Silberman

Steve Silberman, an award-winning science writer whose work has appeared in WiredThe New YorkerSalon, and Nature. He is also the author of the bestselling book NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, which was published to great acclaim in 2015. Oliver Sacks called it "a sweeping and penetrating history . . . presented with a rare sympathy and sensitivity." Silberman's related TED talk, “The Forgotten History of Autism,” has been viewed more than a million times and translated into 25 languages.