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Carter Center Awards 2001-2002 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

Atlanta, GA….The Carter Center's Mental Health Program today named nine recipients of its Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, including, for the first time, two international fellows. Each domestic fellow will receive $10,000 to study a particular issue within the mental health field over the course of one year.

The fellows will convene in Atlanta at The Carter Center on September 11, 2001, to meet with former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter and the Center's Mental Health Task Force and Fellowship Advisory Board to discuss their planned topics of study. Past fellows have published newspaper articles, produced documentaries, and have written books, garnishing awards from the National Mental Health Association and two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize.

The fellowships are part of an international effort by The Carter Center to reduce stigma 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."

Learn more about the Mental Health Program >

The recipients are:

  • Sandra Ackerman, Freelance Writer and Editor
    Durham, North Carolina, USA

Project: Write a book with Allan Tobin, Ph.D., Director of the U.C.L.A. Brain Research Institute. "Toward a Healthy Older Brain: The Science Behind the Headlines" will take aim at common misconceptions and fears about aging and the brain, particularly the terrible myth of senility. The book will offer clear accounts of major new findings such as the lifelong "plasticity" of the brain and the effects of healthy aging on memory.

  • John Francis, Founder and Publisher

TEARAWAY Magazine, The Voice of NZ Youth
Wanganui, New Zealand

Project: Encourage the understanding of mental health among youth along with fostering a climate of support through continued coverage in TEARAWAY, a magazine for New Zealand youth. The first portion of the project will be a 12-part series that defines mental health, sheds light on the common mental illnesses, and profiles some of the youth affected.

  • Mike Gourley, Freelance Producer

National Radio and Long White Cloud Productions
Wellington, New Zealand

Project: Explore the relationship between media portrayal of mental illness issues and its affects on
public perception, and how journalists can help free community stigma and discrimination. Will compare and contrast media treatment of mental illness in U.S. and Australia to New Zealand.

  • Lawrence Hott, Producer and Director

Florentine Films/Hott Productions, Inc.
Haydenville, Massachusetts, USA

Project: A one-hour documentary film, Imagining Robert that tells the story of two brothers: Robert Neugeboren, who has suffered the sadness of mental illness for almost four decades, and Jay Neugeboren, a prize-winning writer and Robert's primary caretaker through the years.

  • Angela Mitchell, M.A., L.C.S.W, Freelance Writer and Author
    Chicago, Illinois, USA

Project: Write a book for parents of children with mental illnesses and for mental health professionals on recent medical breakthroughs and on state of the art treatments for adolescent mental illnesses.

  • Tanya Ott, Producer and Host
    The Village, WUFT/WJUF-FM
    Regular Contributor, Public Radio International's Marketplace
    Gainesville, Florida, USA

Project: Produce two nationally distributed public radio documentaries that will offer critical analysis of how well the mental health needs of at-risk children and youth are being met by talking to researchers studying children's mental health, program administrators battling understaffing and underfunding, parents and foster parents navigating a complex web of agencies to get care for their children, and young people facing mental illness.

  • William Skane, Producer
    CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning
    Washington, D.C., USA

Project: Report and write about how we are dealing with depression in one group that seems extremely vulnerable and woefully unprotected -- young people. Will examine reasons why many parents and professionals fear we may be on the brink of a mental health epidemic among America's youth.

  • Jodie Snyder and Susie Steckner, Newspaper Reporters
    The Arizona Republic
    Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Project: Write a special series for The Arizona Republic on the challenges schools and workplaces face in trying to accommodate the mentally ill. Through advances in research and medication, more people with mental illnesses will leave hospitals and boarding homes and enter schools and workplaces.

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