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Carter Center Symposium to Address the Prevention of Mental Illnesses

Contact: Meryl Bailey
Telephone: 404-420-5129

The 23rd Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy

Atlanta…Harnessing the power of prevention to stop the onset or progression of mental illnesses is long overdue. Failure to implement preventive measures on a national scale takes not only a human toll but also an economic and societal toll in terms of lost productivity and disability.

"More than a quarter of the American population is at risk to develop a mental illness at some point in their lives," said former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, co-founder of The Carter Center. "These illnesses strike people of all ages and circumstances. Policies to initiate preventive interventions and continue research can help reduce the incidence and prevalence of these disorders–greatly improving the quality of life of future generations."

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and Dr. Thomas Bornemann, director of the Carter Center Mental Health Program, will welcome experts from around the country to address this important issue during the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy at The Carter Center on Nov. 7 and 8.  During the meeting, mental health professionals will present current prevention interventions for children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. Presenters also will address policy barriers to dissemination and adoption of these approaches.

In response to the President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Report, there is a collective acknowledgement of the imperative to focus on prevention and early intervention for populations across the lifespan. The time is right for a national leadership focus on prevention of mental illnesses and their exacerbation.

The two-day symposium is expected to draw around 200 participants from the mental health community and other fields, including researchers, service providers, and consumer and advocacy groups, as well as policymakers from all levels of government. Participants make specific commitments to move the agenda forward, with the intent to initiate and expand at least one prevention activity within their organizations.

Please click here or visit for complete details on the two-day symposium agenda.


Editor's Note:  The Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy will be held on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8 at The Carter Center.  The symposium agenda and a list of speakers are available upon request. All portions of the symposium, except working groups, are open to media. Journalists should contact Meryl Bailey at 404-420-5129 or to register for the event and to schedule interviews with Carter Center staff and visiting experts.


"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."

The Carter Center celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2007. 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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