Disability Rights California Celebrates the Life and Advocacy of Rosalynn Carter

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Disability Rights California Celebrates the Life and Advocacy of Rosalynn Carter

Disability Rights California (DRC) mourns the passing of former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and celebrates her groundbreaking mental health advocacy work. DRC also recognizes Ms. Carter’s valuable contributions to increase the visibility of and support for family caregivers. 

Rosalynn Carter's journey into mental health advocacy began at a time when societal attitudes toward mental health were shrouded in stigma and misunderstanding. Ms. Carter fought tirelessly to end that stigma and improve access to mental health services. One of her most significant contributions was the establishment of the Carter Center's Mental Health Program. Carter Center's Mental Health Program works to promote awareness about mental health issues, inform public policy, achieve equity for mental health care comparable to other health care, and reduce stigma and discrimination against those with living with mental health conditions. 

In 1987, Ms. Carter founded the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI) to support the unique needs of caregivers and build on her belief that everyone is a caregiver now, has been a caregiver, or will either be or need a caregiver in the future.  The mission of RCI is to promote the health, strength, and resilience of America’s 53 million family caregivers by leading research projects and strategic initiatives, developing and implementing evidence-based programs, and advocating for public policy changes. 

At Disability Rights California, we appreciate and applaud Rosalynn Carter's comprehensive approach to mental health advocacy and commitment to improving supports for caregivers. Her emphasis on community-based care, destigmatizing mental health, and supporting caregivers aligns with our mission to ensure that people with disabilities are supported, valued, and included in their communities.


Disability Rights California (DRC) – Is the agency designated under federal law to protect and advocate for the rights of Californians with disabilities. The mission of drc is to defend, advance, and strengthen the rights and opportunities of people with disabilities. For more information visit: https://www.disabilityrightsca.org.