Erikson Institute Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media



National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Andrew SolomonFive years ago, the Erikson Institute for Education and Research at the Austen Riggs Center developed the Erikson Institute Prize for Excellence in Mental Health Media with the goal “to reward and encourage sophisticated, accessible work on mental illness and recovery, and to stimulate conversation about the broad range of mental health issues, including how to dispel stigma and promote well-being.”

Each year, the prize is awarded to three individuals selected by a committee, chaired by Joshua Wolf Shenk, author of Lincoln’s Melancholy, a New York Times notable book, essays for Harper’s Magazine, The Atlantic, The New Yorker and other publications and the national bestseller Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression.

Jane G. Tillman, director of the Erikson Institute, stated “the individuals who are awarded this prize are important both to Riggs and to the larger world because of what they write and how they think; they help to shape the public’s understanding of critical social and mental health issues in our country.”

Prize recipients receive $1,500 each and are honored at an afternoon Media Colloquy, where they have an opportunity to briefly discuss their work, engage in a panel discussion and answer attendee questions.

Recipients in the past have included documentary directors, poets, print and radio journalists, writers, individuals who have in one way or another taken on the challenge of bringing nuance, compassion and scientific rigor to their coverage of mental illness and recovery.

This year, the prize recipients are:

  • National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Andrew Solomon
  • Editor of The Atlantic magazine and New York Times bestselling author Scott Stossel
  • Investigative reporter on staff at The Washington Post and author, David Finkel.

In the coming weeks we will be profiling each recipient, so stay tuned and check back to learn more about each of these remarkable writers.

For more information on the Media Colloquy to honor this year’s recipients being held on Saturday, August 16 at Riggs, please visit: www.austenriggs.org/event/media-colloquy. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so pre-registration is suggested.