Sunday, February 22, 2015

It's good to be recognized

I'm proud to announce that last night I received a first-place award for health reporting for my 2014 series on my region's high suicide rate, which explored both what experts know about suicide and personal stories from different demographics that are at a higher risk.

The award was given by the New England Newspaper & Press Association and I was one of four finalists for all health stories in New England daily newspapers under a circulation of 30,000.

I try to keep my personal blog and professional writing separate but under the circumstances I feel comfortable sharing links to the series this time.

January 25: The numbers on my area's high suicide rate, which mysteriously exceeds demographic norms

March 9: Why men die from suicide at a higher rate

March 28: Interview with Kevin Hines, author who survived jump off Golden Gate Bridge

March 30: Talked to a mother who lost her teen son to suicide and wrote about teen suicide issues

April 27: Spoke to a veteran who survived a suicide attempt and touched on veteran suicides

June 17: Interviewed experts about suicide among the elderly

July 6: Details of evidence-based suicide prevention programs

July 30: Spoke to experts about how the media fails in its suicide reporting

This was a difficult issue to cover, and emotionally taxing. I was already proud of what I created here, and while the award is nice to have, it didn't mean as much as the positive responses I got from readers who had suffered a tragedy because of suicide.

This is a serious problem that thrives on silence. I hope I've inspired people to talk about it instead of staying quiet because it's an uncomfortable subject.

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