The Carter Center Awards Eight U.S. Journalists Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

The Carter Center will train fellows on effective mental health reporting and support them as they report on a specialized mental health topic

ATLANTA — The Carter Center, a global leader in mental health, is pleased to announce the eight U.S. recipients of the 2020-2021 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.

The group includes a nonprofit news leader, local reporters, freelance journalists, and the inaugural Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grant for Mental Health Investigative Journalism. Fellowships to international journalists will be announced by fall 2020.

Beginning in September, fellows will pursue innovative mental health journalism projects during the year-long, non-residential fellowship. The projects tackle some of society’s biggest behavioral health challenges and seek to strengthen reporting, drive change in their communities, and help reduce stigma through storytelling.

The fellows are accomplished journalists who have proposed specialized topics in mental health reporting. Fellows are selected by a committee of current and former journalists, mental health experts, and the Fellowship Advisory Board, with an emphasis on diversity and the communities their fellowships project will cover.

"The Carter Center has worked for more than two decades to develop a cohort of journalists who can have a significant impact on the public's understanding of mental illnesses," said former First Lady and Carter Center co-founder Rosalynn Carter. "These journalists are making important contributions to lifting some of the stigma associated with mental health issues."

Carter Center U.S. fellows receive intensive training from leading mental health and journalism experts and a $10,000 stipend to report on a mental health topic of their choice.

The fellowships challenge recipients to delve deeper into learning about a mental health issue to ensure the public gets reliable information about mental illnesses.

Fellows will receive virtual training on effective behavioral health reporting from past fellows and advisors, connect with alumni, be paired with their mentors, and gain a deep understanding of behavioral health.

The Carter Center is pleased to welcome the 2020-2021 class of Rosalynn Carter Fellows for Mental Health Journalism:

  • Christie Diez
    News anchor/Reporter
    WXIA 11 Alive News
    Topic: The relationship between dementia and mental illness and a new paradigm for treatment and care

  • Susan Greene - Inaugural Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grantee for Mental Health Investigative Journalism
    The Colorado Independent
    Topic: The mental health effects of COVID-19 in a state whose population is particularly vulnerable to suicide

  • Janelle Harris Dixon
    Freelance Writer & Editor
    Topic: Self-injury in the Black community: triggers and healing

  • Abigail Jones
    Freelance journalist
    Topic: '911 for the brain': What the United States needs to make a mental health hotline happen

  • Yanick Rice Lamb
    Co-founder, writer, editor
    Topic: Hidden Scars: The impact of COVID-19 on the Black community

  • Alisa Roth
    Mental Health Correspondent
    Marketplace, MPR News
    Topic: How COVID-19 is affecting rural America and opportunities for real systemic change

  • Bakari Savage
    WBRC-Fox 6 TV
    Topic: Adverse impacts of COVID-19 on young adults and navigating the new normal

  • Eileen Truax
    Freelance journalist and writer
    Topic: How young adults deal with the responsibility of helping immigrant parents navigate the U.S. system

"We're living through an historic time that’s having a significant impact on global mental health," said Kari Cobham, senior associate director of The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism and Media. "We believe fellows' stories will provide context and accurate information to help make sense of it all."

The fellowship program is part of Carter Center's Mental Health Program, which works around the world to improve access to mental health care and reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses. The program is committed to providing journalists with the tools they need to report on mental health and distributes a Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health, so journalists can accurately cover stories that include behavioral health. Fellows’ mental health reporting are curated daily on @CarterFellows on Twitter.

Contact: Rennie Sloan, +1-404-420-5129

Learn more about Rosalynn Carter Fellows for Mental Health Journalism »


Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.