Columbia University Medical Center

CUMC Remembers Mike Wallace’s Commitment to Mental Health

Broadcast Legend Dies At 93

Investigative television journalist Mike Wallace will be remembered for his tough interview style, but he was no less fierce in his advocacy for mental health reform.

In May 2003, the Columbia Presbyterian Health Sciences Advisory Council presented Wallace with its Award for Distinguished Service to journalism, honoring the “60 Minutes” correspondent for his commitment to raising awareness of mental health issues.

By that time, Wallace had emerged as a spokesperson in the fight against depression, speaking openly in interviews about his personal battle with the disease.

Dr. Herbert Pardes, then-president and CEO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, said, “There is no doubt that in telling his own story, [Wallace] has helped shape the way depression is diagnosed and treated, and thus helped countless individuals who have suffered in silence for too long. I was honored to join in presenting him with this award.”

Wallace was the driving force behind an hour-long 1998 HBO documentary titled “Dead Blue: Surviving Depression,” which not only chronicled his own experience with depression but helped to shed light on the pervasiveness of the disease and the different treatment options available to sufferers. Wallace also participated in the first-ever White House Conference on Mental Health and lobbied Congress for mental health parity legislation.

From the CUMC Archives
•    TV Newsman Talks About Overcoming Depression, The Columbia University Health Sciences Reporter, March 1992