The Carter Center Awards Eight 2018-2019 U.S. Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

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

ATLANTA — The Carter Center announced today eight U.S. recipients of the 2018-2019 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. Selected from a pool of highly competitive applicants, the 22nd annual class brings the total to 197 journalists who have been awarded the fellowships to date. (See below for a list of journalist names and project topics.) An announcement of the 2018-2019 fellowships to journalists from outside of the United States will be made in August 2018.

"The Carter Center has worked for more than two decades to develop a cadre 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."

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 $10,000 stipend (or 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 general 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 documentary films; hundreds of newspaper, magazine, and online pieces; multiple hours of radio and television airtime; and countless uses of multi-media, all in conjunction with the fellowship.

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.

The 2018-2019 U.S. recipients of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism are:

Livia Albeck-Ripka
Freelance Journalist
New York
Topic: Exploring the growing impact of climate change on mental health due to both long-term impacts, such as droughts, and short-term impacts such as hurricanes, wildfires, and floods.

Soumya Karlamangla
Health Reporter
Los Angeles Times
Topic: Investigating whether California psychiatric hospitals escape blame for patient harm and deaths by exploiting legal loopholes.

Angela Bronner Helm
Contributing Editor
New York
Topic: Exploring the effectiveness of the NYPD's Crisis Intervention Training Program as it relates to police violence against civilians who have mental illnesses.

Christine Herman
Illinois Public Media
Topic: Examining the impact of Illinois' broken mental health system, which is tearing families apart as parents of children with severe mental illnesses make the excruciating choice to trade custody for treatment.

Rory Linnane
Special Projects Reporter
USA Today Network-Wisconsin
Topic: Learning from Wisconsin students, who are reporting more mental health challenges as teen suicide rates are rising. Students have ideas and energy to make needed changes, if only
their communities will listen.

Fiza Pirani
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Cox Media Group
Topic: Addressing the stigmatization of mental illness and mental health care among immigrant, refugee communities, including barriers to service access.

Sarah Smith
Investigative Reporter
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Topic: Exploring the problem of defendants with mental illness endlessly cycling between jail and state hospitals.

Deborah Wang
Contributing reporter and editor
KUOW Public Radio
Topic: Documenting how adolescents who suffer from mental illnesses quietly struggle to find help.

Editor's Note:
Learn more about the Carter Center's Mental Health Program >
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.