Wish and the Carter Center Launch Student Program to Enhance Mental Health Journalism

Press release
Published October 15th, 2018 - 04:56 GMT
The agreement was signed by WISH and The Carter Center
The agreement was signed by WISH and The Carter Center

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), an initiative of Qatar Foundation, has signed an agreement with The Carter Center to support the training of Qatar-based student journalists in mental health reporting.

The Student Scholarship Program is a new initiative within the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism program, which was brought to Qatar in 2016 as a partnership between WISH and The Carter Center, based in Atlanta. The objective is to train students in Qatar on how to report ethically and accurately on topics related to mental health and illnesses before they embark upon their professional careers.

The agreement is supported by Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) and Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), who recommended students for the new program.

Everette E. Dennis, Dean, NU-Q, and Dr. Ahmad S. Dallal, Dean, GU-Q, were present at a signing ceremony held in Qatar, along with students Ayilah Chaudhary (NU-Q) and Asma Al Jehani (GU-Q), who are this year’s inaugural student cohort. Ahead of the formal signing ceremony, the two students traveled to Atlanta in September where they met Former US First Lady Rosalynn Carter and took part in a series of sessions and workshops.

WISH continues to work with The Carter Center on the main fellowship program for established journalists, with Al Rayyan TV presenter Khalid Al Naama representing Qatar this year.  

Sultana N. Afdhal, CEO, WISH, said: “We are delighted that the deans of NU-Q and GU-Q have given their students this unique opportunity, and are grateful to The Carter Center, as this new initiative builds on the success of the ongoing program, the Rosalynn Carter Fellowships for Mental Health Journalism.

“We believe it is essential to train students before they commence their professional careers, so they can learn best practices for reporting on mental health issues in Qatar with accuracy, integrity, and cultural sensitivity.”

Over the course of next year, the students will work closely with their professors, and with professional journalists in both the US and Qatar, to learn how to produce accurate and balanced reports on mental health issues.

Curtis Kohlhaas, Chief Development Officer, The Carter Center, said: “We congratulate the students on becoming part of our fellowship program, and are confident that the training will help them to not only enhance their future careers but also address the critical issue of stigma and discrimination around mental illnesses through their work. These students will have access to a wide network of global journalists, and alumni of the program, from many countries including the US, Colombia, South Africa, and New Zealand, for professional advice and support.

“We look forward to seeing the content that these students produce over the next year, and hope that their work has a positive effect in Qatar and beyond.”

WISH’s partnership with The Carter Center underscores both organizations’ longstanding commitment to raising awareness of issues around mental health.

Background Information

Qatar Foundation

Qatar Foundation (QF) is a non-profit organization made up of more than 50 entities working in education, research, and community development.

Our unique ecosystem—supported by partnerships with leading international institutions—is built on initiatives that address our most pressing challenges, create global opportunities, and empower people to shape our present and future.

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