The Carter Center Expands Mental Health Journalism Training in Qatar

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

Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship Program Announces New Qatari Fellow and New Initiative to Include Students from Northwestern and Georgetown Universities in Qatar

ATLANTA — The Carter Center has partnered with The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), an initiative of Qatar Foundation (QF), to announce an expansion of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism program started with WISH in Qatar in 2016. As part of this ongoing partnership, a new Qatari fellow has joined the class of 2018-19 Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellows. The Qatari fellow, Khalid Al Na’ama, is a broadcast journalist from Al Rayyan TV. The total number of Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellows trained since 1997 is 210.

In addition, a new initiative was started to train student journalists to learn how to report ethically and accurately on topics related to mental health and illnesses. The initiative is supported by Northwestern University in Qatar (NUQ) and Georgetown University in Qatar (GUQ), who each recommended one qualified student for the new program.

NUQ Dean Everett Dennis and GUQ Dean Ahmad Dallal were present at an October signing ceremony held in Qatar, along with Ayilah Chaudhary (NUQ) and Asma Al Jehani (GUQ), the first two journalism students to participate in this initiative. In September, the two students attended the annual training meeting of journalism fellows, where they met former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter and participated in expert-led sessions and workshops for the incoming and outgoing class of fellows.

“We are delighted that the deans of NUQ and GUQ have given their students this unique opportunity, and are grateful to The Carter Center, as this new initiative builds on the success of the ongoing program, the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism,” said WISH CEO Sultana N. Afdhal.

Over the next year, the students will work with their professors and professional journalists in both the U.S. and Qatar to learn how to produce accurate and balanced reports on mental health issues.

“We congratulate the students on taking part in this pilot Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship program and are confident that the training will help them in their future careers and address the critical issue of stigma and discrimination around mental illnesses,” said Dr. Eve Byrd, Mental Health Program director for The Carter Center. “These students will have access to mental health experts and program alumni from many countries including the U.S., Colombia, South Africa, and New Zealand.”

Mental illness and substance use conditions are among the most common health conditions in the world, yet sensationalized news coverage or underreporting of these issues can perpetuate myths and misconceptions and discourage people from seeking effective treatment. The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism were founded to increase accurate reporting on mental health issues and decrease incorrect, stereotypical information.

Carter Center fellows receive intensive training from leading mental health and journalism experts and a stipend for a comparable amount for international fellows) to report on a mental health topic of their choice. The fellowship program challenges recipients to delve deeper into learning about a mental health issue of interest to ensure the public is provided with reliable information about mental illnesses.

Over the history of the program, Rosalynn Carter fellows have produced more than 1,500 mental health-related projects, including several books and documentaries; hundreds of newspaper, magazine, and online pieces; multiple hours of radio and television airtime; and countless uses of multimedia, all in conjunction with the fellowship. Former fellows have been nominated for The Pulitzer Prizes and have won Emmy and Peabody Awards for their fellowship projects.

The fellowship program is part of the 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.

Editor's Note:
Learn more about the Carter Center's Mental Health Program >
Learn more about Rosalynn Carter Fellows for Mental Health Journalism >

About the World Innovation Summit for Health
The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) is a global healthcare community dedicated to capturing and disseminating the best evidence-based ideas and practices. WISH is an initiative of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) and is under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, its Chairperson.

The inaugural WISH Summit took place in Doha in 2013 and convened more than 1,000 global healthcare leaders. Through international summits and a range of ongoing initiatives, WISH is creating a global community of leading innovators in healthcare policy, research and industry.

Together, they are harnessing the power of innovation to overcome the world’s most urgent healthcare challenges and inspire other stakeholders to action.


"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.