Press Release

Al Jalila Foundation partners with The Carter Center to launch The Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism Program in the United Arab Emirates

Al Jalila Foundation, a member of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has partnered with The Carter Center to develop and implement a United Arab Emirates (UAE) Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism (RCJF). This program will be the first mental health fellowship program for journalists in the Middle East.

The announcement of this mental health program was made on Tuesday at a signing ceremony at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Academic Medical Center at Dubai Healthcare City. The signing was attended by Her Excellency Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, Member of the Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Al Jalila Foundation; Dr Abdulkareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Al Jalila Foundation; Jason Carter, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Carter Center; Curtis Kohlhaas, Chief Development Officer, The Carter Center; and a number of leading healthcare and media representatives.


For nearly two decades, the Center has awarded one-year fellowships to 165 journalists to connect them with resources and experts to increase the quality and accuracy of mental health reporting around the world. The program is currently in the U.S. and Colombia and was previously in New Zealand, South Africa, and Romania. It is the first time that the program will be offered in the UAE and the Middle East.

Her Excellency Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg 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.”

“Reporting by Rosalynn Carter fellows has contributed to more awareness and coverage of mental health issues and more balanced and accurate reporting in the participating countries,” said Jason Carter. “In partnership with Al Jalila Foundation, we are proud to extend the reach of this program to reduce stigma and discrimination against those with mental illnesses in the UAE.”

The Carter Center will provide trainings, educational materials, mentorship, evaluation tools, and technical assistance to develop a sustainable and tailored program in the UAE.

Al Jalila Foundation will manage the program and will be 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 said: “It is a huge privilege to launch the mental health journalism program for the first time 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.”

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.

For more information on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism (RCJF) program please contact