Madison CARES, Standard Journal receives national awards

REXBURG — A nine-part series featuring mental health issues that appeared last year in the Standard Journal has received two national awards.

The series, which featured a wide variety of topics, was entered in a national contest by Madison CARES, the Madison School District program that focuses on mental health.

The Excellence in Community Communication and & Outreach (ECCO) awards were presented recently in Washington, D.C.

They were presented by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration, which is a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

“It’s a big deal,” said Jessica Goudy of Madison CARES.

Goudy was the person who submitted the nine-part series. She said nearly 100 entries from across the nation were submitted.

The series won two awards. It received a “gold” award in the Children, Youth & Young Adults category and a “silver” award in the Media Outreach category.

“We are honored to have been selected for these prestigious awards,” said Greg Little, managing editor of the newspaper.

Little and former Standard Journal reporter Emmilie Whitlock organized and wrote the series.

The emcee at the awards presentation was Dr. Gary M. Blau, the Chief of the Child, Adolescent and Family Branch of the Center for Mental Health Services at Georgetown University.

Goudy said Blau commented about the series when the award was presented, saying to have this issue on the front page of the local newspaper nine weeks in a row was “incredible,” and that’s how awareness is raised about mental health issues.

Since 2013, Madison CARES has received eight ECCO awards for their various accomplishments, including Celebrate Youth, an annual event focused on the youth of the area.

“This is an example of how we, as a newspaper, can help make a difference in the community,” said Scott Anderson, publisher of the Standard Journal. “We are passionate about these issues, and we have an obligation to inform local residents about mental health issues, how they impact the community and how people can learn to deal with those issues.”

Madison CARES is a program designed to develop a mental heath care system that works better for families and their loved ones. Having a child involved with multiple agencies can be frustrating. One of the program’s goals meant to help make things easier on the family and the child is to help encourage communication throughout the different agencies. There are many parts to this program, all of which follow the guiding principles, which are that Madison CARES remains family-driven, youth-guided, child-centered and culturally competent.

You can visit our website, http://www.uvsj.com, to read the entire series and also to watch the video from the awards presentation.

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