Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowships Now Offered in Ireland

Headline, a national media program focused on mental health in Ireland, has partnered with The Carter Center to offer the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism to Irish media.

The fellowship, which was founded by former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter, gives journalists across the world the resources they need to report on mental ill health to help dismantle the stigma that millions of people face every day.

With over 200 alumni across the globe, the fellowship is internationally recognised. The two successful pitches will each receive 10,000 to fund their proposals and will have access to top international experts and resources in the mental health and journalism fields. Ireland is only the second country in Europe ever to participate in the fellowship programme.

Shine, the mental health organisation which houses Headline, works with people living with mental ill health through 1-1 recovery work, national advocacy initiatives, research, the national stigma reduction partnership See Change, and its media programme Headline. Accurate media representation of the lived experience of people with mental ill health is crucial to better understanding that experience, and proposals must include this to be considered.  

Headline Programme Leader Áine O’Meara said: “We’ve been working on bringing this fellowship to Irish journalists for a long time, so we’re thrilled to finally be able to do that.” In referencing Headline’s 2018 research, Reporting on Mental Health: Challenges Facing Journalists, O’Meara said: “It’s so easy to get mental health journalism wrong, given the nuances of these kinds of stories. Journalists want to cover tough topics, but it's clear the resources aren’t there to support them in that work. This fellowship gets them closer to achieving that.”

Carter Center CEO Paige Alexander said: “We’re delighted to expand the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship Program into Ireland. We know that quality reporting on mental health issues can tremendously impact decreasing stigma, educating the public about solutions, and even changing policies on mental health. We’re grateful to Headline and Shine for bringing this program to Irish media, adding to the more than 220 fellows who have participated over 25 years.”

The main aims of the fellowship are to increase effective and accurate reporting on mental ill health, to equip journalists with the tools needed to produce high-quality work that reflects an understanding of mental ill health, and to develop a diverse cohort of informed journalists who can more effectively report on these issues across evolving and emerging platforms.

Shine CEO Nicola Byrne said: “I am delighted that our Headline programme has been selected to facilitate the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism in Ireland. Shine is proud of its long history of working with the Irish media to break down the stigma attached to mental illness. We look forward to seeing how the fellowship empowers the media to continue their good work of amplifying the voice of lived experience of mental ill health.”

You can find pervious successful proposals here and more information about the fellowship program on and on @CarterFellows Twitter account.

On May 24, Shine will host a conference in Cork where these themes are explored further. Anyone interested in applying for the fellowship is encouraged to attend and take part in Headline’s brainstorming workshop where people with lived experience of mental ill health will discuss the stories that matter most to them.

Headline and The Carter Center will host a fellowship information webinar on Tuesday, May 16. You can register for the event here.

Applications open on May 17 and will close on June 18, 2023.


About Headline:

Headline is Ireland’s national media programme for responsible reporting and representation of mental ill health and suicide. Headline operates under the remit of the current national suicide prevention strategy, Connecting for Life, as set out by the National Office for Suicide Prevention. The programme works under four pillars: ‘Research’, which is carried out to inform and improve media practices when reporting on mental health challenges and suicide; ‘Training’, which supports both students and media professionals to report responsibly on suicide and improve representation of mental illness; ‘Media Monitoring’, which enables us to gather real-time information and produce research to further knowledge in the media and mental health fields; and ‘Support’, which is achieved by rewarding best-practice mental health reporting at Ireland’s only dedicated Mental Health Media Awards.

About Shine:

Since its establishment as a national organisation in 1979, Shine has worked tirelessly to shape better policies and services for all those affected by mental health challenges. We support individuals and groups to enhance their recovery, challenge negative attitudes and behaviours and deliver a variety of programmes and services. Shine is proud to be the only national mental health organisation specifically founded to support all family members. Our teams provide a range of services to support individuals with lived experience of mental health challenges and their families, including: Information and Brief Support, Individual Recovery Planning and Support, Peer Support Groups, Recovery Education, Advocacy work and stigma reduction.

About The Carter Center:

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 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. Visit our website | Follow us on Twitter @CarterCenter | Follow us on Instagram @thecartercenter | Like us on Facebook | Watch us on YouTube