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The Carter Center Awards 2010-2011 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

Contact: Paige Rohe, The Carter Center
Atlanta office: +1-404-420-5129

ATLANTA…After a highly competitive selection process, the Carter Center's Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, one of the only journalism fellowships exclusively for mental health, announced today the winners of its 2010-2011 awards. (See below for a full list of fellows and their project topics.) Since 1997, the program has awarded more than 100 fellowships to journalists who set the standard in their field for sensitive reporting on mental health issues.

"Journalists have a very important role to play in shaping the public's perception of mental illnesses," said former First Lady and Carter Center Co-founder Rosalynn Carter. "If a news piece or a book shows what mental illness is really like, people will understand that mental illnesses happen to so many of us, and fortunately, even the most serious mental illnesses can be treated and most people can recover."

Although one in four Americans will experience a mental illness this year, these common disorders typically are under-reported by the media or sensationalized around rare events, perpetuating inaccurate stereotypes that can lead to stigma and discrimination against people living with these conditions.

Armed with intensive training from leading mental health experts and a $10,000 stipend, U.S. Carter Center fellows remain in their work environments to produce high-quality mental health journalism on issues that may not otherwise be brought to light. Fellowships with a comparable stipend also are offered to two journalists in South Africa and two in Romania.

Previous fellows have produced more than 300 stories, documentaries, books, and other works. Their projects have garnered an Emmy award, nominations for the Pulitzer Prize, and awards from Mental Health America, the American Psychological Association, Amnesty International, and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

The fellowship program is part of the Carter Center's Mental Health Program, which works around the world to reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses and to decrease incorrect and stereotypical information. The program also seeks to increase access to mental health services and inform mental health public policy. The Carter Center also conducts pioneering work on other health fronts, including: spearheading the historic campaign to eradicate Guinea worm disease; integrating neglected disease prevention efforts; and building health infrastructures in some of the world's most impoverished communities.

2010-2011 Recipients of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

The U.S. recipients are:

Kimberly Hefling
Associated Press
Washington, D.C.
Topic: Mental health of female veterans and military families.

Ann Heppermann
Freelance Journalist
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Topic: A multimedia, multi-platform investigative project on pre-teen anorexia nervosa.

Bobbie O'Brien
WUSF Public Broadcasting
Tampa, Fla.
Topic: Mental health issues among military members and spouses undergoing multiple deployments in the Iraq/Afghanistan wars.

Benjamin Selkow
Independent Filmmaker
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Topic: A feature-length documentary film, "Buried Above Ground," portraying the stories of individuals affected by posttraumatic stress disorder.

Nancy Solomon
Freelance Journalist
South Orange, N.J.
Topic: The failure of K-12 schools to meet the needs of children with mental illnesses.

Jocelyn Zuckerman and Ramin Talaie
Freelance Journalist and Photographer
New York, N.Y.
Topic: Mental health issues among Haitians following the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake.

The South African recipients are:

Salomé Delport
Rooi Rose
Durbanville, South Africa

Topic: A series of stories and a blog on depression in groups not often associated with mental illnesses in public stereotypes including: teachers, police officers, and the elderly.

Joanne Lillie
Freelance Journalist
Cape Town, South Africa

Topic: A series of feature articles addressing depression among children and young people.

The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships would like to acknowledge their partnership with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Romanian recipients are:

Hannelore Acârnulesei
Ziarul Hunedoreanului
Deva, Romania
Topic: Mental health issues and obesity.

Clara-Maria Stanescu
Gazeta de Sud
Craiova, Romania

Topic: A series of articles on how mental illnesses are treated in rural areas within Romania in comparison to other countries.

The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships would like to acknowledge their partnership with the Center for Independent Journalism, Bucharest, Romania.

Editor's Note:

  • Learn more about the Carter Center's Mental Health Program.
  • Visit the journalism fellowship archives to read the work of past fellows:
    • For an example of international coverage, read about 2006-2007 fellow Jimmie Briggs, who traveled to the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo to cover the psychological impact of sexual violence against women.
    • For an example of domestic coverage, read the series of reports by 2004-2005 fellow Michelle Roberts that exposed patient abuse and resulted in the closing of an Oregon public psychiatric hospital.
    • For coverage on the mental health impact of the Iraq and Afghanistan war, read 2008-2009 fellow Kelly Kennedy's series of articles exploring the stigma associated with posttraumatic stress disorder in troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Learn more about the Carter Center's other health programs.


"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 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. Please visit to learn more about The Carter Center.

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