The Seattle Times wins National Press Foundation award for mental health coverage

For Immediate Release — May. 1, 2024
Lindsay Taylor, Consumer Marketing Manager

SEATTLE — The Seattle Times’s Mental Health Project has received the Carolyn C. Mattingly Award for Mental Health Reporting from the National Press Foundation, in recognition of its outstanding coverage. The award is typically given to one newsroom journalistic project each year and recognizes journalism that explains and advances the understanding of mental health issues and treatments.

The staff recognized with the award are: reporter Hannah Furfaro, former engagement reporter Michelle Baruchman, and videographer Lauren Frohne and graphic artist Jennifer Luxton for animated video work.

The judges praised stories on reimbursement rates for therapists that have remained flat in recent years, “ghost networks” of providers who aren’t accepting new patients and the barriers to receiving care for eating disorders, which included an animated video. The stories highlighted the failures of mental health parity, the federal requirement that insurance should cover mental health concerns at the same level as it covers physical health. Too often, barriers related to insurance coverage stand in the way of people getting appropriate mental health care.

Seattle Times Executive Editor Michele Matassa Flores said: “We're honored to receive this meaningful recognition for work that illuminates critical gaps in care. The Mental Health Project’s mission is to educate people about key issues, needs and gaps and to destigmatize mental illness – central to our focus on public service journalism.”

Diana Samuels, Mental Health Project editor, added: “Insurance coverage, and lack thereof, affects everyone in the country, but it’s so bogged down in complexities that it can be a tough and unappealing topic for journalists to cover. I’m so proud that this team took this crucial issue head-on, shining light on how much insurance barriers affect access to mental health care, and am grateful to the National Press Foundation, the Luv U Project and the contest judges for recognizing that work.”

The Mental Health Project, now in its third year, is made possible by support from Ballmer Group philanthropy. To learn more about the Mental Health Project, visit

The Seattle Times serves the Northwest with independent, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism, as the region’s most trusted news media company, dedicated public service. The Seattle Times is the most-visited digital information source in Washington state and the second-largest newspaper on the West Coast. Founded in 1896 by Alden J. Blethen, The Seattle Times’ stewardship is now led by the Blethen family’s fourth and fifth generations, whose stewardship also includes the Yakima Herald-Republic and The Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.