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

Inaara Gangji

Inaara Gangji is a senior at Northwestern University in Qatar, majoring in journalism and strategic communication. She’s…

Susan Greene

Susan Greene has led the nonprofit Colorado Independent since 2013. Beginning in 2020, Greene and managing editor…

Bakari Savage

Bakari Savage is a correspondent for the top-rated morning show in Birmingham, Alabama, at WBRC Fox 6…

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

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism appoints new US Advisory Board members

The Carter Center’s Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism (RCJF) is pleased to announce the appointment of four new U.S. Advisory Board members. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise from various mediums, academia and the international journalism arena. The new members are Dr. Kortni Alston, happiness scholar…

ATLANTA, GA. May 10, 2019. Twenty-fourth Annual Rosalynn Carter Georgia Mental Health Forum at the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA. Photo by M. Schwarz/The Carter Center

Former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter honored by World Health Organization for 50 years of mental health advocacy

Carter Center Board of Trustees Chair Jason Carter Accepts Award of Global Health Given to Mrs. Carter During Opening 74th World Health Assembly ATLANTA (May 24, 2021) — Former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter was recognized today by the World Health Organization (WHO) for 50 years of leadership to help improve…

Photo by Roger H. Goun via Creative Commons license on Flickr.

Not all insurance companies cover mental health services. The Carter Center seeks solutions through journalism.

By Kristyn Wellesley Collaborative Manager Over two years, I led reporting teams at USA TODAY that covered some of the most tragic events in recent Florida history, from mass shootings to devastating hurricanes. Of the five mass shootings we covered in that time, the hardest was February 14, 2018, at…

Mary Ottley (left) and her brother, Robbie (right), with President and Mrs. Carter 
after President Carter’s Sunday School class in Plains, GA in 2015.

Within my reach: Shaping my career in mental health

By Mary Ottley The Carter Center Mental Health Program Graduate Assistant The week before I started as a college freshman in fall 2011, my older brother Robbie experienced his first manic episode. Later, he bravely and honestly chronicled this manic episode for the University of Georgia’s student newspaper, The Red…

Photo courtesy Jacki Lyden, taken in Silver Spring, Maryland, on September, 17, 2016 by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post.

APA awards Carter Fellow Jacki Lyden Patient Advocacy Award

By Charlie Wood The Carter Center Mental Health Program Intern Each year since 1987, the American Psychiatric Association bestows the Patient Advocacy Award on a public figure for mental health advocacy. This year, the award goes to 2017-2018 Carter Center Fellow, Jacki Lyden. “It is a deep thrill to receive…

The National senior reporter Nick Webster, left, discusses his mental health reporting work at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

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…

Rosalynn Carter Seated

Her Secret Service code name and other lesser known facts about First Lady Rosalynn Carter

By Susan Hunsinger and Katie Connor Carter Center Mental Health Program Former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter has been in the public eye since her husband Jimmy ran for Georgia governor 50 years ago. She is best known for her advocacy for mental health issues, caregiver issues, as co-founder of The…

Janelle Harris Dixon

There’s shame and silence around self-injury in the Black community. Janelle Harris Dixon hopes to change that. 

Janelle Harris Dixon is a journalist, writer, editor, founder of The Write or Die Chick and a 2020-2021 Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism. This is a lightly edited version of the informal essay Janelle submitted for her fellowship application, republished with her permission as a guide for future…

Pharmacists in Liberia receive training on mental health and anti-stigma. (Photo/Wilfred Gwaikolo/Carter Center)

Carter Center’s Mental Health Program completes anti-stigma training for pharmacists in Liberia

A version of this article was originally published on The Bush Chicken, a media outlet dedicated to in-depth news and analysis on Liberia’s current events, development, and state of affairs.   By Zeze Ballah Journalist, Mental Health Reporters’ Network, Liberia The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program wrapped up final mental…

MHJFellows-71

Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism open 2021-2022 applications for Latin American journalists

The Carter Center in Atlanta and Universidad de La Sabana, in association with Fundación Gabriel García Márquez, has opened applications for the 2021-2022 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism in Latin America. The partnership provides two fellowships for Latin American journalists to investigate and report on the state of…

Bakari Savage

Fellow Bakari Savage on reporting on mental health during a global pandemic

Bakari Savage, former correspondent for the top-rated morning show in Birmingham, Alabama, at WBRC Fox 6 News, “On Your Side”, and a 2020-2021 Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism, shares his fellowship experience and what he’s learned along the way. The deadline to apply for the 2021-2022’s fellowships application…

Twitter

Join #CarterFellowsChat to learn more about our mental health journalism fellowships

Carter Fellows and a longtime adviser will take live questions about the fellowships, applications and more. ATLANTA — The Carter Center’s Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism will host a #CarterFellowsChat on Twitter on March 10, 2021 at 7 p.m. ET. The chat will feature fellows Eileen Truax, a…

Claim denied

‘Mental health is an issue now for everybody’: Carter Center interns reflect on Mental Health Task Force

Carter Center interns Jimmy Enobabor and Charlie Wood share their experience interning with the Mental Health Program and participating in the center’s Mental Health Task Force convening. By Jimmy Enobabor and Charlie Wood Carter Center Mental Health Program Interns The past year has been stressful as a college-aged student, from balancing virtual learning to managing the stressors of…

Abigail Jones

A 3-digit U.S. emergency mental health line is coming. But it’s not that simple.

Abigail Jones is an award-winning journalist specializing in mental health, trauma, women and family, and a 2020-2021 Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism. This is a lightly edited version of the informal essay Abigail submitted for her fellowship application, republished with her permission. The deadline for 2021-2022’s fellowship applications is…

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter talks to fellows at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Carter Center opens applications for 2021-22 Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism

ATLANTA (Feb. 3, 2021) — The Carter Center is pleased to announce that applications for journalists who are U.S. citizens and residents are now being accepted for the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism. Selected fellows will join a top-notch cohort of more than 220 fellows awarded over the…

Liberia CIT training

A community approach to preventing police violence against Liberians in mental health crises 

By Tsion Horra Program Assistant, The Carter Center Mental Health Program The response to anti-Black violence in the United States and mass deaths from the Covid-19 pandemic globally have demonstrated how profoundly social and public emergencies affect the mental health of various populations.   And trauma in the aftermath of violent interactions with police are carried by those who survive, witness and fear these acts of brutality.   In 2020, we saw protests…

Kristyn headshot

Kristyn Wellesley to lead The Carter Center’s newsroom collaborative on access to mental health services

Kristyn Wellesley, a newsroom leader with deep experience in fact-checking, audience development and collaboration, will run The Carter Center Mental Health Program’s solutions-based, 5-newsroom U.S. collaborative on national access to mental health services and how lack of access is impacting local communities. Atlanta, GA (February 1, 2021) — The Carter…

Woman voting

Carter Center’s Mental Health and Democracy Programs join Hearken to support US journalists during election

By Susan Hunsinger Mental Health Program Associate The run up to the 2020 election in the United States — and its aftermath — has affected everyone, especially journalists tasked with covering the dizzying pace of unfolding events. The U.S. faced serious threats, like mistrust in the election process, disinformation and…

Liberian mother

‘Thinking Healthy’ to improve maternal mental health in Liberia

By Samhita Kumar and Sadie Bazur-Leidy The Carter Center’s Global Mental Health Program As a healthcare worker in Liberia, Caroline Saye knows all too well the challenges of providing mental health care, particularly to mothers and moms-to-be, because of too few practitioners. It’s why Saye says it’s so important to…

book-1091627_1280

Carter Fellow Marion Scher’s new book tells stories of lived experience and hope

By Susan Hunsinger Program Associate, Carter Center Mental Health Program A new mother shares her struggle with postpartum depression. A transgender person retraces a difficult journey. A young man whose suicide attempt left him a paraplegic and whose life in recovery is full and fulfilling. These are the stories that…

Press Releases

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…

Kristyn Wellesley to lead The Carter Center’s newsroom collaborative on access to mental health services

Kristyn Wellesley, a newsroom leader with deep experience in fact-checking, audience development and collaboration, will run The Carter Center Mental Health Program’s solutions-based, 5-newsroom U.S. collaborative on national access to mental health services and how lack of access is impacting local communities. Atlanta, GA (February 1, 2021) — The Carter…

Carter Center Hosts Discussion on Coping with Anxiety

May 16, 2017 Anxiety Disorders Affect about 18 Percent of U.S. Adults The Carter Center is hosting a June 15 discussion on anxiety disorders with Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellow Andrea Petersen and Carter Center Mental Health Program staffer Rebecca Palpant Shimkets. Petersen, a Wall Street Journal health and…

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