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Dig Deeper: Rosalynn Carter

By Shawn Proctor

Rosalynn Carter and Betty Ford at National Women’s Conference in support of ERA in November 1977. Credit: The Carter Center


Rosalynn Carter, who became a leading mental health advocate after serving as First Lady, died Nov. 19.

The Carter Center, founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, to advance peace and health worldwide released a statement upon her death.

“For more than 50 years, Mrs. Carter was a tireless advocate for those living with mental illnesses, supporting practical measures and policy reforms to create parity for mental illnesses with physical illnesses in Georgia, the United States, and the rest of the world. She taught generations of journalists how to report about behavioral health in a way that reduces stigma and stimulates understanding and equitable treatment. She also advocated for caregivers, for acceptance of life-saving vaccinations for children and adults, for the elderly, for humane end of life, and even for the survival of the delicate and beautiful monarch butterfly.”

“Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished,” President Carter said via statement. “She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me.”

Learn more about Rosalynn Carter, in her own words and through others, by exploring the resources below. Furthermore, discover how she fits into the timeline of First Ladies and addressed the pressing crises of the era.



Video: First Lady of Mental Health


Shawn Proctor Head shot

Shawn Proctor, MFA, is Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Library.



Last Modified: November 29, 2023

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