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The Carter Center Awards 2004-2005 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism


ATLANTA.....The Carter Center's Mental Health Program has named 10 recipients of its eighth annual Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, including two from New Zealand and the first two from South Africa. Each domestic fellow will receive $10,000 to study a particular issue within the mental health field for one year.

International fellows will receive a comparable stipend. The fellows will convene in Atlanta at The Carter Center on Sept. 20, 2004, to meet with former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the Center's Mental Health Task Force, and the Journalism Fellowship Advisory Board to discuss planned topics of study. In the past, fellows have published in-depth articles, produced radio and television documentaries, and written books. Their projects have garnered awards from the National Mental Health Association, the American Psychological Association, and Amnesty International, as well as Emmy award nominations and two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize.

The fellowships are part of an international effort by The Carter Center Mental Health Program to reduce stigma against people with mental illnesses and decrease incorrect and stereotypical information.

"Informed journalists can have a significant impact on 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:

Caroline Clauss-Ehlers, Freelance Writer
New York, N.Y., USA

Project: Investigate the stigma of mental illnesses in the Latino community. Write a series of articles that explore the impact stigma has on access to mental health treatment, utilization of mental health services, and coping for Latino families.

Tom Davis, Columnist
The Record
Metuchen, N.J., USA

Project: Write a series of articles following the progress of a New Jersey program designed to divert people from the prison system and find alternative help for inmates suffering from mental illnesses. Track successes and failures through personal stories and draw comparisons with similar programs.

Paul Diamond, Producer
Radio New Zealand
Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Project: Produce a series of radio features on Maori-based initiatives aimed at improving Maori mental health. Look at the effectiveness of these initiatives as well as their impact beyond the Maori community.

Claire Keeton, Reporter
Sunday Times
Johannesburg, South Africa

Project: Focus on the mental health of South Africans living with HIV/AIDS. Specifically, explore the impact that secrecy or, alternatively, disclosure has on their mental health.

Jim Marbrook, Producer, Director, and Writer
Auckland, New Zealand

Project: Explore the role of Maori culture in healing and wellness through a series of video pieces. Interview consumers and clinicians, in an effort to share their personal stories.

Kevin McCormack, Producer
San Francisco, Calif., USA

Project: Produce a multipart series on how families cope with mental illnesses. Look at the controversy surrounding involuntary commitment and explore the role of new medical advances in reshaping issues.

Peggy Mears, Producer
Brainchild Productions
Irvine, Calif., USA

Project: Produce a series of radio pieces entitled "Adolescent Mental Health: Brain, Biology, and Behavior." Focus on mental illnesses in adolescents and the challenge that developmental stages and dramatic transitions present in detection and treatment.

Greg Miller, Staff Writer and Online News Editor
Science magazine
Blacksburg, Va., USA

Project: Write a series of articles exploring the looming mental health crisis in the developing countries. Investigate the challenges faced in addressing the issue, including cultural differences and stigmatization.

Michelle Roberts, Reporter
The Oregonian
Portland, Ore., USA

Project: Explore the resiliency of children through a series of articles. Look at how children can and do overcome trauma, abuse, and other mental health crises.

Kathryn Strachan, Freelance Writer
Johannesburg, South Africa

Project: Write a series of in-depth magazine articles on deinstitutionalization programs in South Africa. Follow the stories of a few individual patients as well as interview health workers, members of the community, traditional healers, and family members.

The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center.


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