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.

Rosalynn Carter Through the Decades

  • Jimmy Carter gets his bars pinned on by his wife Rosalynn, left and his mother, Mrs. Lillian Carter at the U.S. Naval Academy in this undated photo. (AP Photo)
  • In this Sept. 15, 1966, file photo, then Georgia State Sen. Jimmy Carter hugs his wife, Rosalynn, at his Atlanta campaign headquarters. (AP Photo/File)
  • Rosalynn Carter, wife of Jimmy Carter, speaks to a group at a rally following Carter's debate with Gerald Ford Thursday night September 23, 1976 in Philadelphia, Pa. This was the first presidential debate of 1976. Jimmy Carter, at right, embraces his wife as she talks. (AP Photo)
  • Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn pose for photographers in Washington, Jan. 30, 1984. The Carters were at Ford's Theater for the Washington premier of the movie "Backstage at the Kirov," produced by Armand Hammer, the American industrialist who made oil deals with the Soviet Union and China. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
  • Former first lady Rosalynn Carter discusses her new book, "Helping Someone With Mental Illness," in Portland, Ore., Thursday, June 11, 1998. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Kathryn Scott)
  • FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2005 file photo, former first lady Rosalynn Carter discusses the Institute of Medicine report, "Crossing the Quality Chasm: Adaptation to Mental Health and Addictive Disorders" during the 21st Annual Rosalynn Carter Symposium on Mental Health Policy at the Carter Center in Atlanta. As her husband's political career catapulted him to the White House, Mrs. Carter worked to bring mental health to the fore. Her advocacy continued long after the couple left the nation's capital and established the Carter Center in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Ric Feld, File)
  • Former first lady Rosalynn Carter answers questions during a news conference at a Habitat for Humanity building site Monday, Nov. 2, 2015, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
  • In this image from video, former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, seen in a photo as they speak on audio only, during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)