First Prize

2021 Audio Storytelling (Smaller Newsroom) Winners

Sasha Aslanian & Alisa Roth, APM Reports

Under Pressure: Inside the College Mental Health Crisis

About the Winners

In Under Pressure: The College Mental Health Crisis, reporters Sasha Aslanian and Alisa Roth spoke to students, parents, professors, administrators, researchers and attorneys to show the collision between students’ surging demand for help and colleges struggling to keep up– or, in some cases, not even trying. The hour-long documentary is a comprehensive look at this crisis–what students are asking for and how schools are responding.

Comments from the Judges:

“This documentary adds new depths to the conversation around college mental health, and the common practice of colleges encouraging students to take leave when they’re dealing with mental illness. The reporters give equal time to students and their stories as they did to college administrators explaining why it can be difficult to provide more mental health supports.”

“The reporters also made great use of data to give a sense of how common mental health issues are campuses. Notably, this documentary spotlights many different kinds of colleges, including an elite school, a community college and a small liberal arts school. The resulting documentary is incredibly relevant to the current conversations around mental health, and the toll the pandemic has taken.