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

Soreath Hok

Soreath Hok is a reporter for KVPR, Valley Public Radio in Fresno, CA. She currently covers local…

Almudena Toral

Almudena Toral is a visual journalist and filmmaker based in Miami. She heads the enterprise video team…

Muhammad Saad Ejaz

Muhammad Saad Ejaz is a journalism major at Northwestern University in Qatar, with a minor in Middle…

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

©The Frontier: Amber Boyer with her son, Davin, and daughter.

Oklahoma sends a growing number of kids with complex needs out of state for treatment

The Frontier, by Kayla Branch, February 5, 2024: The state lacks options for kids with developmental disabilities and mental health needs. Oklahoma spent more than $5 million to send 49 kids out of state for treatment in the past year. Amber Boyer spent early mornings last spring crawling out of…

Teresa Edenfield (left) and daughter Layken Edenfield in December 2022.

Poor access to mental health care leaves Georgia children who need a psychiatrist in the lurch

Georgia Public Broadcasting by Ellen Eldridge, January 22, 2024: When Layken Edenfield was little, her moods would switch quickly, her mother, Teresa Edenfield remembers. “One minute she’d be happy and laughing, and the next minute she’d be crying her eyes out,” Edenfield said. “She was really hypersensitive about certain things…

©Hannah Bassett/AZCIR: Jared Marquez, 34, looks back on donated items before distributing care packages with Stolen People, Stolen Benefits, a grassroots group assisting tribal members displaced by the sober living home crisis. The group regularly searches the streets of Phoenix to connect unsheltered tribal members with resources like housing, treatment, and transportation home.

AHCCCS alerted to ‘predictable’ homelessness surge before fraud crackdown

Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting (AZCIR) by Hannah Bassett, December 28, 2023: The state agency at the center of Arizona’s ongoing behavioral health crisis knew its proposed billing reforms could trigger a surge in homelessness nearly a year before implementing the changes, yet still failed to adequately prepare for the fallout—or…

©John Leos/Cronkite News: Shela Yu, a Phoenix-based artist, in her studio space on Nov. 30. Yu was raised in Mesa.

Being ‘my own role model’: Normalizing mental health care in the AANHPI community

Cronkite News by Deanna Pistono, December 22, 2023: For Jessika Malic, communications director of Asian Pacific Community for Action, a Phoenix-based nonprofit focused on providing access to health care, her search for the right mental health provider for herself involved some added effort. “I thought it would be great to…

©Emily Kinskey/The Texas Tribune: Elizabeth Ramirez, mother to three children, sits at home in El Paso. After her eldest child experienced a mental health crisis, Ramirez navigated through the confusing and under-resourced Texas mental health system in search for professional help.

How the Texas vision for seamless mental health care fell apart over 60 years

The Texas Tribune by Stephen Simpson, December 22, 2023: A lack of private providers, a swamped community mental health system, and low insurance reimbursement have cut off many in Texas from basic mental health services It was in early 2020, a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, that the world…

©Sofi Gratas/GPB: Jocelyn Wallace, executive director of The Never Alone Clubhouse, stands at the entrance of the recovery center in Douglas County. As someone in recovery herself, she opened this place two years ago to give people who have dealt with substance use disorder a chance to connect.

More options, less stigma: How Georgians in recovery are breaking barriers to addiction care

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) by Sofi Gratas, December 19, 2023: For Jocelyn Wallace, a former paramedic from Douglas County, her opioid addiction started like many others — with a prescription to treat her pain after a car accident. She was 16 years old at the time. Her addiction would endure…

©Jason Getz/AJC: Steven Allwood, center, listens as his father Vernon Allwood speaks during the Eddie Gaffney lecture series about mental health at Dansby Hall on the Morehouse College campus, Tuesday, October 17, 2023, in Atlanta.

Suffering in silence: Male college students less likely to seek counseling

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution by Vanessa McCray, December 16, 2023: When Vernon Allwood helped open Morehouse College’s counseling center 35 years ago, he had to convince students to talk about their problems. “Morehouse men didn’t need counseling,” he said wryly during a fall lecture at the historically Black men’s college in…

©Whitney Bryen/Oklahoma Watch: Freddy Corona and Shawna Normali looked at photos of their daughter, Lena Corona, with their son Josh Corona. Lena Corona, 18, was in psychosis in July when she was arrested and taken to the Seminole County jail where she died by suicide.

These Oklahomans Needed Mental Health Care. Instead, They Died in Jail.

Oklahoma Watch by Whitney Bryen, December 15, 2023: Lena Corona was sitting on the porch of her Seminole home, blood dripping from her hand, when police arrived at 2:45 a.m. Her dad stood behind her, pressing a T-shirt over the wound on his chest where Corona had plunged a shard…

©Manuel Martinez/WBEZ: Jorge Rubiano came to Chicago from Colombia this summer and is staying at a shelter on the Southwest Side. He mostly keeps his experiences to himself. But for migrants who want to talk about their mental health, a parade of helpers is filling in the void of a frayed mental health system. On Nov. 3, 2023.

The mental health of migrants simmers below the surface as the next looming crisis

WBEZ by Kristen Schorsch, December 14, 2023: Support groups are trying to address the obstacles to care, including language barriers and a persistent shortage of mental health workers. Jorge Rubiano is a haunted man. For months, he has tried to find work. For months, he has slept in a shelter,…

Brian Miller, a school resource officer for Charles W. Harris School in Phoenix, greets children at the school during his shift on Dec. 7, 2023. ©Brendon Derr/AZCIR

GOP-led push to fund police over counselors leaves some schools ‘in the lurch’

Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting (AZCIR) by Maria Polletta, December 14, 2023: Brian Miller is a fixture at Charles W. Harris School in Phoenix, a familiar face kids and parents encounter four days a week. Mornings and afternoons, the school resource officer is in the parking lot directing traffic —…

Remembering Rosalynn Carter

‘A friend to us all’: Rosalynn Carter is remembered fondly by her namesake Fellows

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, the founder and namesake of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, passed away on November 19, 2023. She was 96. Not long after, the Carter family issued a statement sharing that, “Rosalynn Carter’s deep compassion for people everywhere and her untiring strength on…

Posters for I Matter, the state's free student therapy program hang in Fort Collins High School. The initiative was launched in 2021, in response to a significant increase in youth mental health needs in Colorado.  ©Leigh Paterson/KUNC

From long wait lists to high costs, finding a therapist in Colorado is harder than it should be

KUNC by Leigh Paterson, November 15, 2023: In communities across Northern Colorado, people are struggling with their mental health while also struggling to get the care they need. The problem is widespread. Around a quarter of residents reported having poor mental health in the most recent Colorado Health Access Survey….

County Behavioral Health Services Director Luke Bergmann speaks to members of the media about the CARE Act program at the County Administration Center in downtown on Sept. 27, 2023./ ©Ariana Drehsler

Law Could Increase Demand for Often-Elusive Addiction Treatment

Voice of San Diego by Lisa Halverstadt, November 3, 2023: State legislation that makes people struggling with severe addiction eligible for conservatorships is expected to put more pressure on a treatment system now often unable to deliver immediate voluntary care. A state law set to take effect in January aims…

Posters of missing Indigenous people are displayed outside of Drumbeat Indian Arts in Phoenix on Sept. 28, 2023, where the advocacy group Stolen People, Stolen Benefits is based. ©Brendon Derr/AZCIR

Patients, advocates describe ‘pure chaos’ in state response to AHCCCS fraud

Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting (AZCIR) by Hannah Bassett and Maria Polletta, November 2, 2023: On May 16, as cameras flashed and tribal leaders looked on, Arizona’s governor and attorney general announced a statewide crackdown on behavioral health providers suspected of defrauding the state’s Medicaid program out of hundreds of…

©Leigh Paterson/KUNC: Students walk past the doors of the school-based health center at Glenwood Springs High School during a passing period on September 19th, 2023. Every student who goes in for a medical or behavioral health appointment is screened for depression, anxiety and self-harm.

One answer to the youth mental health crisis? Asking Colorado students how they’re feeling

KUNC by Leigh Paterson, November 3, 2023: Rates of anxiety and depression among young people are the highest they’ve been since 2013, when Colorado first began collecting this data. Driven by the urgent state of youth mental health, an effort is underway in Colorado to identify kids who need behavioral…

©Ariana Drehsler/A portion of a stack of 2022 phone screens sit on the desk of Program Manager Darlene Jackson at the McAlister Institute's Adult Detox in Lemon Grove.

Getting Drug Treatment Beds Is So Hard for Poor It’s Like Winning the Lottery

Voice of San Diego, by Lisa Halverstadt, September 28, 2023: Low-income and homeless San Diegans often can‘t quickly access residential treatment for substance use disorder. On a recent day earlier this month, Jerry Shirey’s team at San Diego Freedom Ranch had a list of more than 30 people seeking a…

©Grant Blankenship/GPB: The stretch of Deepstep Road in Washington County where Eurie Martin fatally encountered Washington County Sheriff's deputies in 2017. In many cases, law enforcement officers are not prepared to handle mental health crisis calls.

Overwhelmed with mental health calls, six rural sheriffs make their own plan for better response

Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) by Sofi Gratas, September 13, 2023: Eurie Martin, 58, was walking alone on a rural two lane road in Washington County in 2017, when three deputies from the county sheriff’s office encountered him, responding to a suspicious person call. They didn’t know Martin had a history…

2023-2024 Irish Fellows Shauna Bowers, left, and Órla Ryan, right, are pictured with Headline Program Leader Áine O’Meara

The Carter Center Awards Two Irish 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 21, 2023) — The Carter Center is pleased to announce that Órla Ryan of The Journal, working with its investigative platform Noteworthy, and Shauna Bowers of The Irish Times…

Shelly Cailler says goodbye to her wife, Kellie Wright, after Wright was detained at the Pottawatomie County jail. ©Todd Pendleton/The Oklahoman

Cover-up Alleged in Pottawatomie County Jail Deaths

Oklahoma Watch, by Whitney Bryen, September 6, 2023: Pottawatomie County jail officials apparently defied state laws and a judge’s order when they concealed information on the unexplained deaths of seven vulnerable detainees. All seven people arrived at the jail with medical and mental health or substance use complications that required…

Aaron Morris, 27, shows a photo of him and his mother, Richelle, from elementary school on his cellphone at his Jefferson City, Mo., home in August. Richelle, who was found mentally incapacitated in 2003, is currently in a vegetative state after having a heart attack in the Harris County Jail in February. ©Marie D. De Jesús/Houston Landing

This Harris County program serves the most vulnerable. But it won’t bail them out of jail.

Houston Landing, by Alex Stuckey and Marie D. De Jesús: This story is the third in a broader series, “Deadly Detention,” investigating jails across Texas. You can read the first story here and the second here. When a Houston police officer arrived at Richelle Morris’ group home in a quiet…

Press Releases

The Carter Center Awards Two Irish 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 21, 2023) — The Carter Center is pleased to announce that Órla Ryan of The Journal, working with its investigative platform Noteworthy, and Shauna Bowers of The Irish Times…

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 12, 2023) — The Carter Center is pleased to announce nine U.S. recipients of the 2023-2024 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. The group includes award-winning freelancers, staff…

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,…

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