The winner of the first Carolyn C. Mattingly award is a unique and powerful collaborative body of work by the Tampa Bay Times and Sarasota Herald-Tribune that exposes harrowing conditions at Florida’s institutions for the mentally ill after $100 million in budget cuts. The five-part project, titled “Insane. Invisible. In danger.” reveals the dangers to mentally ill patients and workers in the institutions, where treatment takes a back seat to controlling rampant violence.

The Award was established to honor excellence in mental health reporting, an essential element of The Luv u Project’s mission to help elevate the discussion about the wide spectrum of challenges on this important social issue.

Presentation of the Award is a partnership between The Luv u Project and the National Press Foundation (NPF).  The NPF judges unanimously selected this piece, commenting that the “investigation represents the best in journalism. It was revealing, thorough, comprehensive and deep. Every element was compelling, from surveillance videos, graphics, data, strong multimedia and top-drawing writing. The project was extraordinarily strong from start to finish.” The judges also noted the unusual collaboration between competing news outlets in Florida.

The NPF judges were Frank Deford, sportswriter, author and commentator, winner of numerous awards, including NPF’s W.M. Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award; Bob Meyers, president emeritus of NPF and member of the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship advisory board; and, Amalie Nash, executive editor/VP of the Des Moines Register and a Pulitzer Prize jury chair. We are grateful for their valuable time and commitment.

The Judges also awarded an Honorable Mention to Arizona Public Media on its work titled, “Sheri’s Fight,” focusing on the lack of mental health services available in rural communities

The Luv u Project will host a reception to honor the winners at the National Press Club, in Washington DC, on May 24, 2016.