ATLANTA…As part of a partnership with the Al Jalila Foundation, The Carter Center announced today two new recipients of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism Program in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The program is the first mental health fellowship program for journalists in the Middle East, launched in the UAE in 2016 with two journalism fellows. See below for journalist names and project topics.
Over nearly two decades, the Center has awarded one-year fellowships to nearly 200 journalists to connect them with resources and experts to increase the quality and accuracy of mental health reporting around the world. The program is currently in the United States, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Colombia and was previously in New Zealand, South Africa, and Romania.
“These fellows can reshape how media in the Middle East covers one of the most significant, misunderstood public health problems. Like the fellows before them, they will likely impact their colleagues and newsrooms, and become the point person in their field on mental health issues,” said former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
The Carter Center provides training, educational materials, mentorship, evaluation tools, and technical assistance to Al Jalila Foundation to develop a sustainable and tailored program in the UAE.
The Al Jalila Foundation manages the program in the UAE and is responsible for the selection of journalists and adapting the program to meet the needs of the Emirates.
Her Excellency Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, Chairperson of the Board of Directors and Member of the Board of Trustees of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Journalists have immense power to inform, educate and influence society. Their support is essential to raise awareness and create a dialogue about mental health in the region. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that people with mental illnesses are not marginalized and that they receive the required support to live happy productive lives.”
Dr. Abdulkareem Al Olama, chief executive officer of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “It is a huge privilege to partner with The Carter Center to continue the incredible work that former United States First Lady Rosalynn Carter has done to combat the stigma associated with mental illnesses. This is the second year that we have offered the mental health journalism program in the UAE and we look forward to working with the new fellows to initiate positive conversations on mental health to overcome the cycle of stigma.”
Since the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism were established in 1996, fellows have produced more than 1500 stories, documentaries, books, and other works during and after their fellowship year. Their projects have garnered Emmy Awards, nominations for the Pulitzer Prize, and other awards.
The 2017-2018 recipients of the UAE Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism are:
Iman Ben Chaibah
CEO and Editor-in-Chief (Founder)
Sail Publishing and Sail Magazine
Project: A study on mental health issues among UAE youth and to disseminate information on why and how to support people who suffer from mental illnesses.
Nahid Mubarak Khamis Faraj Alawani Alnaqbi
Project: Explore why the treatment of mental illnesses remains shrouded in fear and misconceptions in the UAE and how to reduce mental health stigma.