FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — On Sunday, Rosalynn Carter, former first lady and wife of former President Jimmy Carter, died at 96 years old after recently being placed in hospice care.
During her life, Carter became known for her humanitarian efforts and being an advocate for mental health issues.
Twenty-five years ago, Carter visited Fort Wayne for that very reason.
On May 5, 1998, Carter spoke to a group of people at what is now the University of Saint Francis Performing Arts Center about mental illness and her new book, which covered the topic.
“I want to educate people about mental illnesses, help overcome the stigma and help get people into treatment,” Carter said.
Carter also worked to ensure those suffering from mental health issues could get proper care.
“Mental illnesses should be considered just as physical illnesses — if you’re sick, you’re sick — and there should be no distinction,” Carter said. “You should be able to get care.”
Carter hoped her book and her visit to Fort Wayne would also encourage those dealing with mental health issues to seek help.
“The issue is so important to me, and it needs to be important to everybody because of the prevalence of it,” Carter said. “So many people suffer unnecessarily when they could get help.”
Carter’s book, “Helping Someone with Mental Illness,” can be found on Amazon.