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 past two decades.

The yearlong, non-residential fellowships aim to equip journalists with resources to produce compelling and balanced reporting on mental health and substance use, and to develop a diverse cohort of journalists who can effectively report on the topics across evolving and emerging platforms.

Apply to be a 2021-2022 Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism

Applications must be completed and submitted online. The deadline is Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Fellows will be announced in July 2021. The 2021-2021 fellowship year begins in September 2020. See other important dates and deadlines here.

“Too often we only hear about mental health in the news following a crisis or tragic event. Yet every day, millions of Americans living with these illnesses go to work, care for their children, and contribute to their communities,” said former U.S. First Lady Rosalynn Carter. “They are valuable members of society, and their stories deserve to be told.”

[Related: Protips for applying for a fellowship]

Each U.S. fellow is awarded a $10,000 stipend, mentorship, and intensive training on behavioral health reporting at the start of the fellowship year. Fellows present their published projects at the end of the fellowship year the following September.

Fellows from across mediums pursue a range of innovative journalism projects that tackle some of society’s biggest behavioral health challenges and seek to drive change in their communities and help reduce stigma through storytelling.

Fellows are selected by a committee of current and former journalists, mental health experts, and the Fellowship Advisory Board, with an emphasis on diversity across ethnicity, geography, mediums, and the communities their fellowships project will cover.

Shedding light on under-reported issues and driving change

Fellows undertake timely projects that have a significant impact on their communities regarding mental health and substance use issues.

In the past, projects have affected changes in services and public policies.

Previous projects have investigated problems with psychiatric boarding in hospitals that eventually led to a state Supreme Court ruling; inspired policymakers in a major American city to allocate millions of dollars to address homelessness; and exposed the complex and devastating mental health and substance use challenges faced by returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

Fellowship projects have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. They also have earned Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award, and awards from the Association of Health Care Journalists, Public Radio News Directors Inc., the American Psychiatric Association, Mental Health America, and the National Alliance for Mental Illness.

The fellowship program is part of the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program, which works around the world to improve access to mental health care and reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses.

The program is committed to providing journalists with the tools they need to report on behavioral health and distributes a Journalism Resource Guide on Behavioral Health, so journalists can accurately cover stories that include behavioral health. Fellows’ reporting is curated on @CarterFellows on Twitter.

For more details on how to apply, read here and review our Frequently Asked Questions. For additional inquiries not covered in the FAQs, please email

Contact: Rennie Sloan,, +1-404-420-5129

About The Carter Center
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.

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Michelle Rivera

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