Rosalynn Carter, the former first lady of the United States, is widely recognized as the nation’s foremost advocate for mental health. She dedicated her life to building a more caring society and made significant contributions to the field of mental health care through her leadership and initiatives.
As first lady, Carter broke new ground by fostering programs and services for people with mental illnesses, senior citizens, women, and disenfranchised groups. Her efforts had a profound impact on communities around the world and inspired many others to follow in her footsteps.
Carter’s legacy continued through The Carter Center in Atlanta, where she was actively devoted to making a difference in the lives of so many. As emissaries for the Center, she traveled the globe on nonpolitical campaigns to eradicate Guinea worm disease and other neglected tropical diseases, increase agricultural production in Africa, monitor elections in nascent democracies, urge greater compliance with international human rights standards, and resolve conflicts. Her efforts had a lasting impact on communities around the world.
In addition to her work with The Carter Center, Carter established the Mental Health Program at the organization to combat stigma and discrimination against people with mental illnesses and promote improved mental health care in the United States and abroad. She also chaired the Center’s Mental Health Task Force, hosted an annual forum of national mental health leaders, and established the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism to encourage accurate reporting about mental health issues.
Through her dedicated work, Rosalynn Carter has touched the lives of people around the world and forever changed the way that mental health is viewed and treated. Her lifetime of service has left a lasting impact on countless individuals and communities.