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The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism 1997-1998

Leslie Sowers

Director, Public Policy and Programs
Mental Health Association of Greater Houston
Houston, Texas

Topic: Children (from toddlers to adolescents) who have mental illnesses and the impact on families and schools

Published Work:

Hammering Her Message Home, Rosalynn Carter Has Own Project: Battling Stigma Of Mental Illness
For nearly 15 years, Rosalynn Carter has pounded nails with Jimmy at his annual Habitat for Humanity Work Project. This year, she's not hammering. She's got a medical excuse, and it isn't the Houston heat. The former first lady has carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands.

Too Late For Help? Is Incarceration the Answer?
IN the mind's murky depths, there may well be a sharp line with Either on one side and Or on the other. But one weary group of parents and grandparents loves children who crisscross the line - either victim or offender, therapy or jail, mentally ill or criminal - until it's a blur.

Too Late for Help?; Families Can Unravel, Solitary Struggle Against Illness A Risky One
Pennye Odom probably would not have chosen August, with its breath-sucking heat, for a long campout. Hot dogs every night last week was fun. Hot dogs again this week has lost its appeal. And Campsite 68, she's afraid, may not meet the state's requirement of a permanent address when her two children try to go to school next week.

Too Late for Help?; Teaching Discipline, Positive Learning Climate Limits Need For Punishment
Punishment has had negative connotations for a generation of parents afraid of damaging their child's self-esteem. But mental health experts say parents must respond when children break rules against lying, stealing or fighting - actions that are clearly unacceptable.

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