Helping change the views on Mental Health Services in low income communities

Scholarship Entrant: Octavia from Brooklyn, NY
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Octavia: 1

I’ve always known that I was meant to do something substantial with my life, not always knowing what it was but I could feel it. And now at the age of 29, I’ve figured it out: working in mental health services as a clinical psychologist in under served communities.

My interest in this field is pretty full circle as I grew up in a household with a single parent suffering from mental illness. Being so young, I didn’t fully understand what was happening but was fascinated by it and wanted to understand how and why mental illness happens and how it can be prevented. A bit of research and conversations have provided the unsatisfactory reality; many people in under served communities do not feel mental health services are needed as these services are better suited for their neighbors in the wealthier areas. Religion and family are often used more than modern medicine. I believe that having more mental health services available in these communities and having more people of color step up and talk about mental illness will bridge this gap. In this effort, we can get more people back to work and maintain a life of financial and emotional self-sufficiency.

And I will be a part of this effort. Upon completion of my bachelors’ degree in Psychology, I will be working to obtain my Psy.D in Clinical Psychology. This education will provide me with the tools I need to live my dream to help people maintain better emotional health.

Vote for Octavia: 1

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