Al Jalila Foundation announces applications are open for the UAE Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism Program
Al Jalila Foundation, a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, announced today that the second application cycle for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism (RCJF) has opened for applications. The program, in partnership with The Carter Center, was launched in the UAE in 2016 and is the first mental health fellowship program for journalists in the Middle East.
For nearly two decades, the Center has awarded one-year fellowships to 181 journalists to connect them with resources and experts to increase the quality and accuracy of mental health reporting around the world.
Her Excellency Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, Member of the Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “Journalists have immense power to inform, educate and influence society. Their support is essential to raise awareness and create a dialogue about mental health in the region. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that people with mental illnesses are not marginalized and that they receive the required support to live happy productive lives.”
“For nearly two decades, Carter Center fellows have accurately and sensitively covered mental health issues around the world, helping communities better understand illnesses that affect so many people,” said former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. “Too often we only hear about mental health in the news following a crisis or tragic event. Yet, every day, millions of people living with these illnesses go to work, care for their children, and contribute to their communities. They are valuable members of society, and their stories deserve to be told.”
The Carter Center provides trainings, educational materials, mentorship, evaluation tools, and technical assistance to develop a sustainable and tailored program in the UAE. Al Jalila Foundation manages the program and is responsible for the selection of journalists, facilitating media trainings, adapting the program to meet the needs of the Emirates, and local evaluations.
Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, Chief Executive Officer of Al Jalila Foundation, said: “It is a huge privilege to be the first to offer the mental health journalism program in the region and continue the incredible work that former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter has done to combat the stigma associated with mental illnesses. Our 2016 fellows have been instrumental in shining a light and raising awareness about mental health in the UAE. We are excited to continue to grow the program to benefit our nation.”
Since the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism were established in 1996, fellows have produced more than 1500 stories, documentaries, books, and other works during and after their fellowship year. Their projects have garnered Emmy Awards, nominations for the Pulitzer Prize, and other awards.
How to Apply
The program is open to UAE nationals and residents working in all media forms with a minimum of three years of professional experience. Projects are tailored to the experience and interests of the fellows. Fellows should be bilingual (Arabic and English) and are not required to leave their current employment or relocate for the duration of the fellowship.
The 2016-2017 recipients of the UAE Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism, and part of the 20th class of fellows, are:
Khalid Al-Ameri, Opinion Writer, The Gulf Times
Topic: Examine the topic of depression and its prevalence in Arab society in an attempt to establish a culture that is supportive and equipped with responsive and adequate treatment.
Sports Pioneer from The Middle East, Journalist, and Motivational Speaker, Dubai
Topic: Encourage open discussion about mental illness in the UAE through anonymous support group meetings and a monthly newspaper column.
The application for the 2017-2018 UAE Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism is available online and should be submitted before 11 May 2017. The fellowship recipients will be announced on 13 July 2017 and the 2017-2018 fellowship year begins in September 2017.