Language Guide for Reporting on Mental Health

If you’re a journalist on deadline, we recommend you check out our free guide.

Meet the 2019-2020 Fellows

Rodrigo Pérez Ortega

Rodrigo Pérez Ortega is a journalist specializing in science, health and the environment. After completing his degree…

Rawaa Augé

Ms. Rawaa Augé is a Presenter and producer of ‘women voices’ or ‘bekasretta’ at Al Jazeera Arabic…

Ellen Eldridge

Ellen Eldridge (she/her) is a health care reporter for Georgia Public Broadcasting. She has previously worked as…

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the fellowship?

The goals of the fellowship are to:

  • Increase effective and accurate reporting on behavioral health issues
  • Equip journalists with the tools needed to produce high-quality work that reflects an understanding of behavioral health
  • Develop a diverse cohort of better-informed journalists who can more effectively report on behavioral health across evolving and emerging platforms

How are fellows announced or notified?

Fellows are notified individually by program staff by telephone before The Carter Center makes an official announcement on the center website and via press release. These calls are confidential. Due to the high volume of applications, applicants not selected as Fellows will not be contacted. Click here for the announcement date. 

Where can I find samples of previous fellowship projects?

To see a database of projects completed by Rosalynn Carter Fellows during their fellowship year, visit the Rosalynn Carter Fellows’ project database to search by Fellow name or year.

Where can I find out about the fellowships in New Zealand, Romania or South Africa?

New Zealand
In 2006, the New Zealand Mental Health Media Grants program was established to sustain the work of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships in New Zealand without The Carter Center. The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand and the national anti-discrimination campaign, “Like Minds, Like Mine,” are co-creators and supporters of the program.

The grants are awarded each year to creative and journalistic projects in New Zealand that challenge people’s perceptions of the experience of mental distress and the journey to recovery.

New Zealander applicants should visit mediagrants.org.nz to apply, pre-register for next year’s Grants round or find out more about past winning Creative and Journalism projects.

For more information about the South African Fellowships Program, please contact:

Danielle Whitburn
Grants Coordinator
Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand
danielle.whitburn@mentalhealth.org.nz

Romania
In 2013-2014, The Carter Center and the Center for Independent Journalism in Bucharest awarded the final two fellows in the collaborative program.

For more information about future opportunities in Romania, please contact:

Cristina Lupu
Executive Director
Center for Independent Journalism
Bdul. Regina Elisabeta, no.32
Bucharest, Romania
www.cji.ro
www.facebook.com/Centrul.Jurnalism.Independent

South Africa
In 2011, the South African Fellowship Program was created to sustain the work of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships in South Africa without The Carter Center. The South African fellowships are now administered through the South African Depression and Anxiety Group.

For more information about the South African Fellowships Program, please contact:

Marion Scher
Media Mentors/Freelance Journalist
2005-2006 Rosalynn Carter Fellow
Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel:  +27 82 467 6046
Email: journo@icon.co.za 

Recently

©WITF: Martha Stringer, at left, talks with her daughter Kimberly Stringer, at right. The Stringers have filed a lawsuit against Bucks County Correctional Facility employees after Kimberly was pepper-sprayed and restrained while detained there while suffering from a mental health condition.

Jails fail to accommodate people with mental illness. In some cases, it’s a civil rights violation.

WITF, by Brett Sholtis, November 14, 2022: As a note of disclosure, WITF and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press are challenging in court Bucks County’s refusal to release a video of an incident involving Kimberly Stringer while she was in Bucks County Correctional Facility. Months before her…

Wayne Wilson, standing in a hogan at the Native American Baha’i Institute in Houck, holds eagle feathers he uses in traditional healing ceremonies. © Laura Bargfeld/Cronkite News

Healing Through Culture: Increasing access to Native American practices to treat mental health

Cronkite News, story and video by Laura Bargfeld, audio story by Natalie Skowlund, November 4, 2022: HOUCK – In a remote hogan near the southern edge of the Navajo Nation, Wayne Wilson lights a fire, lays out eagle feathers and remembers his grandfather’s teachings. “He would talk to me and…

Donald Winston adjusts the blinds moments after moving into his new apartment — the first-ever home of his own. ©Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times

California is trying to house the homeless through a health insurance program. It worked for this man.

Los Angeles Times, by Lila Seidman, October 19, 2022: On a blistering hot Friday in August, Donald Winston, 56, lugged black trash bags stuffed with belongings up four flights of stairs to what had just become his first-ever home of his own. Winston sweated profusely as the plastic bags began…

©Sipa USA/Joshua Guerra/Sipa USA via Reuters.: Twenty one chairs, flags and crosses are displayed in front of local businesses on May 30, 2022, in Uvalde. They each honor the 19 students and two teachers killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

Uvalde prompted Texas to start taking mental health funding for schools seriously. Is it enough?

Texas Public Radio, by Bonnie Petrie, September 27, 2022:  [Petrie Dish Podcast] On a sweet, sunny spring Tuesday, children across the state were preparing for summer break, feeling that giddy rush that comes to kids in those last, loose days of the school year when unstructured hours of summer fun…

©Annie Mulligan/The Texas Tribune: Devin Mathieu and his partner, Claudia Dambra, discuss someone who might need a package containing life-saving harm reduction supplies in their apartment on Sept. 16.

Texas bans many proven tools for helping drug users. Advocates are handing them out anyway.

The Texas Tribune, by Sneha Dey, October 11, 2022: HOUSTON — Thirty minutes before a punk show this summer, Claudia Dambra set up a table and taped to it a tablecloth she had hand-painted with broad, white brushstrokes. The banner read, “PUNK NOT DEATH.” As people flooded into the Houston…

©Kylie Cooper/The Texas Tribune: Dana Jones pauses for a moment on Aug. 1, 2022, as she retells her experiences with past floods in Houston. Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Tropical Storm Imelda in 2019 and Winter Storm Uri in 2021 damaged her home.

“It’s destroying me”: Storm after storm, climate change increases strain on Texans’ mental health

The Texas Tribune, September 8, 2022, by Erin Douglas: HOUSTON — The first thing Dana Jones, 61, tells you to do when you enter her gray-blue house in Melrose Park is walk along the off-white tile, up and down, through her dining room, while she watches carefully for your reaction….

©Dan Carino

There’s Free Mental Health Help For Crime Victims, But Providers Say Bureaucracy Gets In The Way

SCPR/KPCC, Sep 9, 2022, by Robert Garrova: About three years ago, a Southern California resident we’ll call Jane —we’re not using her real name because of a pending trial and security concerns— and her husband found out their child had been assaulted. “Your world is rocked. We couldn’t sleep for…

©Brandon Quester/AZCIR: Students pass through open walkways in this file photo of a high school in Tempe, Arizona on Aug. 27, 2021

Youth access to mental health care improved under Jake’s Law, but persistent barriers hamper its reach

Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting (AZCIR), September 1, 2022, by Shaena Montanari and Maria Polletta:  In March 2020, Gov. Doug Ducey signed into law a sweeping set of measures designed to help curb rising rates of suicide and expand access to mental health treatment for Arizona residents with and without…

©Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune: Meena Thiruvengadam, of Chicago, on July 20, 2022, has to pay out-of-pocket for therapy because her therapist does not accept health insurance.

Why is it so hard to find therapists who take insurance in Illinois?

Chicago Tribune, August 21, 2022, by Lisa Schencker: Meena Thiruvengadam faced a choice when her therapist stopped taking health insurance about a year ago. She could try to find someone else who would take her insurance, or she could pay her therapist — whom she trusted and had already been…

©Shutterstock/megaflopp

How Georgia’s new mental health law works

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, August 3, 2022, by Katherine Landergan: There’s a new law on the books that should make accessing treatment for mental illness and addiction much easier. But some proponents of the new law fear that many Georgia residents may not know about the change. That means patients could…

©Riley Bunch/GPB News: Stephanie Basey, a doctoral student at Mercer University School of Medicine, presents findings on the mental health of Georgia's farmers at a summit in Tifton on May 18. Industry experts seek to get resources to farmers, who don't always know where to turn for help.

How researchers are getting farmers to talk about mental health

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), August 9, 2022, by Riley Bunch: Christina Proctor spent many hours during her childhood on the front porches of neighborhood farms in Madison County. She had a rough upbringing, she said, and lived in a house scarred by substance abuse. “But we lived on this road…

©Riley Bunch/GPB News: North Georgia farmer Drew Echols picks peaches in his field on July 11, 2022, at Jaemor Farms in Alto, Ga. Echols is from a line of farmers who, until recently, generally remained silent about mental health amid the stressors of farming. But experts are seeking to change that.

Farmers have silently struggled with their mental health for years. Are they ready to talk?

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), August 9, 2022, by Riley Bunch: Drew Echols doesn’t remember ever talking with his father about mental health. Or his grandfather. In fact, he doesn’t remember the last time he talked about his mental health at all. “We talked about work a whole lot more than…

©Ellen Eldridge/GPB News: Brent Moore is the founder of Redeemed Living, a faith-based nonprofit for men in addiction recovery. The group seeks to build transitional housing for men in recovery on a 23-acre site, but neighboring residents are against the effort.

It’s the most important part of addiction recovery — and often the most difficult to access

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), August 4, 2022, by Ellen Eldridge: Residents in rural South Georgia are adamantly fighting a zoning request — a faith-based nonprofit called Redeemed Living wants to build cabins for men in addiction recovery on 23 acres of local farmland. But the neighbors don’t want them living…

©Alborz Kamalizad/LAist: “I had all these flashes of something really awful happening either to my son while I was gone or to myself while I was driving,” one mom said as she recalled having a panic attack after birthing her son in the summer of 2020.

Why The Pandemic Took An Especially High Mental Health Toll On New Parents

KPCC, July 26, 2022, by Elly Yu: About six weeks after she gave birth to her son in the summer of 2020, Erin Sricharoon was driving to her local Starbucks in Yucaipa to get an iced chai latte when she had to pull over. “I had all these flashes of…

©Alborz Kamalizad/LAist

CARE Court Aims To Help People Living With Serious Mental Illnesses. Would It Bring New Solutions Or More Problems?

KPCC, July 20, 2022, by Robert Garrova: There’s a bill making its way through the state legislature that aims to create new avenues for people living with a serious mental illness to get life-saving treatment. The plan, first introduced by Governor Gavin Newsom in the spring, is called the Community…

©Roswell Gray/Roswell Gray, who's 17, has been troubled by the way Texas leaders have targeted gender-affirming care in the state. "I do wish that people would understand that trans youth aren't trying to harm anyone," Gray said. "It's not part of some like, secret agenda. It's just who we are."

For trans youth in North Texas, finding affirming mental health care can be a challenge

KERA, July 21, 2022, by Elena Rivera: Texas leaders have targeted trans youth, their families and gender-affirming care practices for months. It’s exacerbated feelings of anxiety and fear in trans youth, who already experience higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide than their cis peers. Mental health practitioners can help…

©Isaac Stone Simonelli | AZCIR: Zoe Edelstein, 13, poses for a photo in her family's home in Phoenix on July 17, 2022. Edelstein switched to online learning because she experienced severe anxiety after returning to in-person learning this past school year.

Permanent funding solution elusive as mental health provider shortage plagues Arizona schools—and students

Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting (AZCIR), July 21, 2022, by Maria Polletta and Shaena Montanari: At times, seventh grade felt like one long string of panic attacks to Zoe Edelstein. The Phoenix student, who’d been living with anxiety and panic disorder since early elementary school, had started in-person at a…

Christina Gerlach is a crisis services manager at UnityPlace, a Living Room managed by UnityPoint Health in Peoria, Illinois

Amidst a lack of mental health services, the ‘Living Room’ approach aims to plug gaps

Side Effects Public Media, July 13, 2022, by Carter Barrett: After a bad breakup, 19-year-old Benjamin Kowalczyk said everything felt like it was crumbling around him. He dropped out of college, and felt himself getting angry with his family. “I had fallen into a bad depression state,” said Kowalczyk, who…

Jonathan Davis

2022-23 Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grantee Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis is the 2022-23 recipient of the Benjamin von Sternenfels Rosenthal Grant for Investigative Mental Health Reporting, a partnership between the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. He is a freelance radio reporter, producer, and editor. He has worked in newsrooms and…

2022-23-rosalynn-carter-fellows

The Carter Center Awards 9 U.S. Journalists Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

The Center will train fellows on accurate and effective mental health reporting and provide access to mental health experts ATLANTA (July 14, 2022) — The Carter Center is pleased to announce nine U.S. recipients of the 2022-2023 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. The group includes freelancers, staff reporters,…

Press Releases

The Carter Center Awards 9 U.S. Journalists Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

The Center will train fellows on accurate and effective mental health reporting and provide access to mental health experts ATLANTA (July 14, 2022) — The Carter Center is pleased to announce nine U.S. recipients of the 2022-2023 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. The group includes freelancers, staff reporters,…

Apply for a 2022-2023 Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism in Latin America

Universidad de La Sabana, in partnership with The Carter Center, is now accepting applications for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism for the 2022-2023 cycle.  The program awards two fellowships to Latin American journalists who investigate and report on the state of mental health in this region. The…

Apply for a mental health journalism fellowship in the UAE

Rosalynn Carter fellowships are a year-long, non-residential program providing training, support and mentorship to two journalists The United Arab Emirates program for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism is now accepting applications for its 2021-22 intake of two journalists. Interested candidates have until May 27 to apply. It…

Applications

Apply for a mental health journalism fellowship in the UAE

Rosalynn Carter fellowships are a year-long, non-residential program providing training, support and mentorship to two journalists The United Arab Emirates program for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism is now accepting applications for its 2021-22 intake of two journalists. Interested candidates have until May 27 to apply. It…

Applications open for Latin American 2020-2021 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

The Carter Center and the University of La Sabana, in association with the Gabo Foundation, are now accepting 2020-2021 applications for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism in Latin America. Bogotá, Colombia — Applications are now open for two fellowships for Latin American journalists who investigate and produce…

Applications open for UAE’s 2020-21 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

The fellowship program aims to develop a diverse cohort of journalists who effectively report on behavioral health. Applications will be accepted until the end of April. DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism UAE program is accepting applications for its 2020-21 intake of two…

Topics

Resources For Journalists

Supporting Journalists Efforts In Mental Health Journalism

The Carter Center Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health (pdf) supports journalists’ efforts to report accurately and effectively behavioral health issues, including addiction and substance use, in ways that do not reinforce stereotypes and stigma.

  • Online Journalism Resources

    Find training opportunities, key mental health organizations & centers, governmental resources, important publications, and more.

    More Info
  • Tipsheet for Covering Childhood Traumatic Grief

    From the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

    More Info