AUSTIN, Texas—Winners have been announced for the inaugural James S. Hogg Journalism Award for Mental Health Reporting by The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Journalism and Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.
The awards recognize exemplary reporting of mental health issues that inform, educate or empower the people of Texas on issues related to mental health and mental illness. The award is named for former Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg, who pursued a career as a newspaper editor before his career in politics, and for whom the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health was established as a living tribute.
In the print category, first place went to Patrick Walker of the Waxahachie Daily Light for his September 2004 article “Broken Dreams: Decuirs Hope Their Story Helps Change Attitudes.” The article relates the struggles and rewards of Diane and Lionel Decuir, who have had a successful 40-year marriage in the face of Diane’s diagnosis of both bipolar and obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Second place in the print category was awarded to Andrea Ball of the Austin American-Statesman, for her January 2005 article, “Hospitals Seeing More Mentally Ill.” The story documented the startling rise of persons experiencing psychiatric crises in hospital emergency rooms following changes to Texas’ public mental health system. Marina Pisano of the San Antonio Express-News took third place for her article “Mind-Body Connection,” which explored the relationship of mental and physical health.
First place in the Broadcast Division went to Waco reporter Bianca Castro and photographer Pascual Rodriguez of KWTX-TV for a February 2005 story about treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among female veterans of the Iraq War being cared for in Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals in Waco and Fort Hood. The piece followed a congressional investigation that suggested that VA hospitals were not adequately prepared to handle increasing numbers of PTSD cases of soldiers returning from Iraq.
Reporter Wendy Rigby and photographer Richard Woods of KENS-TV in San Antonio were awarded second place for an April 2004 story on research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in which brain imaging technology is employed to improve diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder.
As part of the award, first-place winners will receive $1,000, second-place winners will receive $500 and third-place winners will receive $250.
“We want to congratulate these award winners for their terrific work in stimulating discussion about mental health issues and helping to reduce stigma and discrimination,” said Jeffery R. Patterson, director of communications for the Hogg Foundation.
“We certainly wish to applaud these writers for highlighting the complexities of mental health issues," said Lorraine Branham, director of The University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism. “We are pleased to recognize the best in this field and to encourage continued excellence in reporting on this topic.”
For more information, call the Hogg Foundation at 512-471-5041 or the School of Journalism at 512-471-1845.
For more information contact: Jeff Patterson, Hogg Foundation, 512-471-5041.