Saturday, October 17, 2015
Rosalynn Carter's Work With Mental Illness
First Lady Rosalynn Carter has been a leading advocate for a number of causes. For decades she has been involved in mental health research. In April 1984, Mrs. Carter became an Honorary Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and serves as a board member of the National Mental Health Association. In 1985, she started the Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy bringing together nationwide leaders in the mental health field. This allowed representatives of mental health organizations to come together and collaborate on prominent issues. Success of the Symposium led to the creation of the Mental Health Program in 1991. She established the Mental Health Task Force to guide mental health programs. She became chairman of the International Women Leaders for Mental Health in 1992. In 2007, Mrs. Carter worked to help pass legislation regarding mental health insurance. It would require equal coverage of mental and physical illnesses when policies include both types of coverage. Legislation was passed and signed into law in Oct. 2008. At the Carter Center a one-year fellowship is offered to promote public awareness of mental health issues, as well as, to erase the stigma with them. As a part of an international effort to reduce discrimination, The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism stipulates that journalists from U.S. and Columbia- and previously in Romania, South Africa and New Zealand- to report on topics related to mental health and mental illnesses. The Carter Center- Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.