Emory Report

September 14, 1998

 Volume 51, No. 4

Carter Center Update:

Annual Rosalynn Carter Lecture in Mental Health Journalism established

"This lectureship is a well-deserved tribute to Mrs. Carter for her many years of dedication to advancing mental health issues," said Loren Ghiglione, director of Emory's Journalism Program. "We're excited about our collaboration with The Carter Center and look forward to accomplished journalists such as Jack Nelson sharing their knowledge and professional experiences with the Emory community."

The lectureship to which Ghiglione refers is the Rosalynn Carter Distinguished Lecture in Mental Health Journalism. Jack Nelson, chief Washington correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and winner of a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting about mental illness, will be keynote speaker at the inaugural lecture in Emory's Winship Ballroom on Sept. 23. The program's purpose is to educate not only journalism students but the community at large about mental health issues and how the media can help diminish the stigma that people with mental illness often face.

"We consider the lectureship a natural link between our two institutions," said John Gates, director of The Carter Center's Mental Health Program. "It not only serves as a recognition of Mrs. Carter's years of outstanding advocacy in the mental health field but also complements the work being done through the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships in Mental Health Journalism."

Through that program five journalists from across the country receive $10,000 each to research issues surrounding mental illness for one year. Fellows have studied topics ranging from how CEOs cope with high stress levels, to the role biology plays in children's mental illnesses, to how people with mental illness are treated in the criminal justice system. "We're very pleased that both last year's and this year's fellowship recipients will be joining Mrs. Carter at the inaugural lecture," added Gates. "It is certain to be not only interesting but a learning event for all for us."

In his talk "From Milledgeville to the L.A. County Jail," Jack Nelson will describe how treatment of people with mental illness has changed over the past several decades and how it has stayed the same. "Mental health is still a great, fertile field for public service," he recently said. "Great progress has been made since I wrote about conditions at Milledgeville State Hospital in Georgia, then the world's largest institution for those with mental illness, but far too many people with such conditions still face discrimination and inadequate treatment-if they receive any treatment at all. The Carter Center and Emory University can be proud of their efforts to promote enlightened views on this topic."

The Rosalynn Carter Distinguished Lecture in Mental Health Journalism is free and open to the public and will begin at 8 p.m. For more information call 404-727-4221.

Ann Carney is assistant director of public information at The Carter Center.

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