McKeen, Mr. Scott

1996 Winner: Journalism: General Public

Writer Raise Mental Health Awareness

In 1995 Scott McKeen wrote a series of articles entitled ‘Brain Storms’ which explored issues related to emotional illness including anxiety, depression, substance addiction, panic attacks and related topics. Using real life examples, including himself, to examine topics often considered taboo or at least not the subject of ‘polite discussion,’ Mr. McKeen, in a style which permitted a lay audience to explore complex medical, scientific and technical issues, broke down these walls, enabling his readers to begin to understand some of these phenomena.

Coinciding with three self-help forums organized by the Edmonton Journal, the ‘Brain Storm’ series was very well received. From the supportive letters and calls received by the newspaper, it was clear that many people found the topic relevant to themselves or to someone they knew. Anecdotal evidence from several doctors suggest many people afflicted with emotional illness have sought treatment after recognizing their problem through Mr. McKeen’s articles. The positive impact Mr. McKeen’s articles have had on many readers demonstrates his success in communicating these complex and troubling issues in a way that was understandable showing not only literary merit, journalistic integrity and courage, but also empathy towards those inflicted with emotional illness