In September, 18 journalists met at The Carter Center to discuss an under-reported health problem: mental illnesses. Half of the journalists had spent the past year working on mental health topics of their choosing. The other half was preparing to spend the upcoming year doing the same thing.
The meeting was part of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, which aim to enhance public understanding of mental health issues and reduce stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses through balanced and accurate reporting. Each fellow is awarded a stipend and provided with two trips to The Carter Center to meet with program staff and advisers. Fellows join a cadre of over 165 current and former fellows from the past two decades.
Ben Selkow began his career with a planned film on street basketball in New York, but a chance meeting at the courts turned the focus of the film to a man living with bipolar disorder. For his current film, “Buried Above Ground,” he wanted to look at how trauma affects people in different communities. “I want my audience to leave with an appreciation for humanity,” he said. “That’s why I like documentaries — in the long form there’s an opportunity to place context, which can lead to empathy and compassion.”
Learn more about the Center’s Mental Health Program:
Learn more about the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism:
Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter in partnership with Emory University, The Carter Center is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering. The Center wages peace, fights disease, and builds hope worldwide.
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