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Carter Center Awards 2006-2007 Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

Jon Moor 404-420-5107

ATLANTA.....The Carter Center Mental Health Program has named 10 recipients of its tenth annual Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, including eight from the U.S. and two from southern Africa. Each domestic fellow will receive $10,000 to study and report on 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. 11-13, 2006, to meet with former US 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:

Andrea Ball
Austin American-Statesman
Austin, Tex., USA

Topic: Write a feature-length article that chronicles the emotional and psychological burdens surrounding a family dealing with a premature birth.

Tracy Breton
The Providence Journal
Cranston, R.I., USA

Topic: Examine the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elderly people with mental health issues in Rhode Island, particularly in how the state is meeting the needs of its elderly residents as compared to other states and countries.

Jimmy Briggs
Freelance Journalist
New York, N.Y., USA

Topic: Explore the psychosocial impact of gender-based violence on female survivors of war living in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

David Dent
Freelance Journalist
New York, NY, USA

Topic: Write about the mental health challenges that many Hurricane Katrina survivors encountered while moving to and forging new lives in the West.

Tamar Kahn
Science & Health Editor/Correspondent
Business Day
Cape Town, South Africa

Topic: Explore the impact of trauma, shift work, and organizational changes on the mental health of South African police officers, and how their mental health problems affect their families, co-workers, and the citizens they are charged to protect.

Susan Kruglinski
Senior Associate Editor
Discover magazine
New York, NY, USA

Topic: Write four feature-length profile articles about a person with a mental illness who has never received treatment, a person who has received long-term treatment but remains ill, a mental health worker, and a neuroscientist.

Vida Li Sik
Features Writer
Drum magazine
Johannesburg, South Africa

Topic: Focus on households headed by children as a result of HIV/AIDS and the help available to them to cope with stress and depression.

Karen Russo
Field Producer
ABC News Nightline
New York, NY, USA

Topic: Produce a television piece focusing on the state of mental health care in Ethiopia and the novel approaches that doctors are taking to care for patients with mental illnesses.

Stephanie Smith
Medical News Producer
New York, NY, USA

Topic: Through a four-part documentary, examine the mental health of children living in Oregon who have been orphaned by their parents' methamphetamine use.

Alix Spiegel
Freelance Reporter
National Public Radio
Washington, D.C., USA

Topic: Document the psychosocial impact of Hurricane Katrina on the residents of the Gulf Coast through several follow-up radio stories.

Read more about the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and explore the archived projects of past fellowship recipients.

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The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former US 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. To learn more about The Carter Center, please visit

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