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2002-2003 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

ATLANTA…..The Carter Center's Mental Health Program today named eight recipients of its sixth annual Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, including two fellows from New Zealand. Each domestic fellow will receive $10,000 to study a particular issue within the mental health field for one year. The fellows will convene in Atlanta at The Carter Center on September 23, 2002, to meet with former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Center's Mental Health Task Force, and the Fellowship Advisory Board to discuss planned topics of study. Past fellows have published newspaper articles, produced television documentaries, and have written books, garnering awards from the National Mental Health Association, Amnesty International, and two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize.

The fellowships are part of an international effort by The Carter Center to reduce stigma against people with mental illness and decrease incorrect and stereotypical information. "Informed journalists can have a significant impact upon public understanding of mental health issues, as they shape debate and trends with the words and pictures they convey," Mrs. Carter said. "They influence their peers and stimulate discussion among the general public, and an informed public can reduce stigma and discrimination."

The recipients are:
Jim Chipp, Photojournalist
Capital Community Newspapers, Ltd.
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Project: Explore the difficulties and special skills needed to deliver mental health services to a multi-ethnic population. Investigate how the city of Porirua's mental health service providers acknowledge and take account of clients' cultural differences and what service gaps remain. Reveal Porirua's opportunities to provide specialized training for nurses, pharmacists, and social workers nationwide.

Lila Corn, Education Producer
New York, NY, USA
Project: Produce a series of television reports on school mental health services that would include such topics as the gap between youth mental health needs, the services available, and school mental health programs.

Thomas Curwen, Deputy Editor
Los Angeles Times Book Review
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Project: Write three feature-length stories for the Los Angeles Times exploring the roles impulsivity and mental illness play in contributing to the nearly 31,000 suicides each year in the United States.

Maura McDermott, Freelance Journalist
Bronx, NY, USA
Project: Write about the gaps in access to health care among young adults ages 18 to 21 with mental illnesses. She also plans to explore the world of adults who suffer from schizophrenia but have managed their illness and function well in their careers and relationships.

Lauren McKenzie, Journalist
Television New Zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand
Project: Develop a three-part documentary looking at the human face of workplace stress. The first will address the impact on workers and their families. The second will examine how pervasive workplace stress is, and the third will look at what can and is being done to address the issue.

Eugene Richards, Freelance Photographer, Filmmaker, Writer, and Teacher
Brooklyn, NY, USA
Project: Create photographic essays, an educational video, and oral histories that will assess, document, and challenge the world's discrimination against and abuse of people who have mental illnesses. He will follow mentally disabled individuals in Mexico and Hungary who have been released from institutions to learn how they manage.

Edie Rubinowitz, Freelance Journalist
Cambridge, MA, USA
Project: Produce an in-depth radio report on the mental health care system in Cuba.

Shankar Vedantam, Reporter
The Washington Post
Washington, D.C., USA
Project: Undertake writing projects, including a look at attention deficit disorder in children and what scientists have learned about the causes of schizophrenia.

The nonprofit, nongovernmental Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, who has led the Mental Health Program since its inception. In partnership with Emory University, the Center works to wage peace, fight disease, and build hope for millions of people around the world.

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