(Toronto, Nov. 15, 2019) – The Ottawa Citizen and The Mike Farwell Show on Kitchener’s 570 News are the recipients of Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario Division’s 2019 media awards, the agency’s board of directors announced Friday at its annual general meeting.
The Ottawa Citizen has received the provincial media award for its outstanding and thoughtful coverage of mental health and addictions issues at a provincial level, while The Mike Farwell Show has earned the local media award for its significant local coverage of the impact of mental health and addictions.
The Citizen was recognized for its comprehensive coverage of topics such as consumption and treatment services sites, police interactions with individuals facing mental health and addictions issues, health care system changes related to mental health, the impact of cannabis legalization, World Suicide Prevention Day, Bell Let’s Talk and the coroner’s inquest into the death of Jason Simon. Beyond reporting, the Citizen regularly features guest mental health columns from prominent individuals, such as Mental Health Commission of Canada president & CEO Louise Bradley, The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre president & CEO Zul Merali and Sen. Patrick Brazeau.
“The Ottawa Citizen is committed to covering the topics that matter most to our community and our readership, and mental health and addictions are increasingly prevalent issues affecting individuals and families,” said Citizen managing editor Michelle Walters. “We graciously accept CMHA Ontario’s provincial media award and see it as a testament to our commitment to providing our community with responsible journalism and informed editorial opinion.”
The Mike Farwell Show’s nomination was put forward by CMHA Waterloo Wellington for its efforts to create a platform for in-depth conversations on mental health for listeners in the Kitchener-Waterloo region. Specifically, the show’s nomination was based on its commitment to programming that reduces stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and addictions, dedication to providing a monthly “mental health check-up” for its audience, and encouraging listeners to be mindful of their mental health and seek help if needed.
“It’s an honour for The Mike Farwell Show to be acknowledged by CMHA Ontario with its local media award,” said host Mike Farwell. “We take great pride in creating dialogue on the show that aims to normalize mental health and addictions issues. This award is a reminder that this work is important and will serve as motivation to continue these conversations as we look to affect real change in how we all look at mental health and addictions.”
“In a constantly-changing media landscape, it’s increasingly difficult for journalists to cover important topics like mental health and addictions with the attention to detail they deserve,” said CMHA Ontario board chair Tom Walters. “The Ottawa Citizen and The Mike Farwell Show not only dedicate significant time, space and resources to mental health and addictions, they cover these topics with clarity, precision and commitment that’s currently unmatched and greatly needed to support public awareness and acceptance of these issues.”
The annual CMHA Ontario media awards recognize organizations and journalists who best exemplify the spirit of CMHA with significant coverage of mental health issues in local communities and across the province.
About Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Ontario is a not-for-profit, charitable organization funded by the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. We work to improve the lives of all Ontarians through leadership, collaboration and continual pursuit of excellence in community-based mental health and addictions services. Our vision is a society that embraces and invests in the mental health of all people. We are a trusted advisor to government, contributing to health systems development through policy formulation and recommendations that promote positive mental health. Our 30 local CMHA branches, together with community-based mental health and addictions service providers across the province, serve approximately 500,000 Ontarians each year.
For more information, contact:
Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario
T: 416-977-5580, ext. 4175