Growing up in India, I have observed that mental health is often neglected. Mental illness is largely considered taboo, and admitting that one is mentally ill might bring ignominy to the family. Mental health issues are repressed instead of being worked on. The academic pressure placed on adolescents, which is reflected in the “model minority” concept in the United States, adds to the problem. My goal thus involves becoming a counsellor and dedicating myself to changing mindsets, fighting the stigma and helping my clients to thrive.
My research interests lie on the intersection of minority and gender issues, as I have observed that South Asian women tend to keep their mental health concerns to themselves, because community needs are placed above their own. I believe that the mental health counseling program’s emphasis on diversity and a multicultural perspective will provide me with the tools necessary to pursue relevant research.
My interest in studying Psychology began in the 11th grade. By the end of my undergraduate course, I will have studied the subject for five years, and my consistent ‘A’ grades reflect my dedication to it. My studies stimulated me to explore the world around me in a scientific and rational manner. The courses on development, personality and intelligence increased my interest in the subject. My undergraduate research on mobile addiction and organizational stress, helped in building my understanding of data analytics, and the application of it in the real world. I learned how to integrate different approaches and information.
As part of my undergraduate course, I also studied Literature and Journalism. This triple major provided me with experiences that helped me approach mental health advocacy with varied perspectives.
I have worked as a blogger for my college’s official psychology blog, and written articles to help increase mental health awareness among the entire student body. I have also performed at a slam poetry show aimed at spreading awareness about mental health. My communication skills have further developed from my work as a coordinator for the Bangalore Mental Illness Support Network (under 27). Through the meetings of the group, young mentally-ill individuals were encouraged to seek professional help, and found a space to talk freely about their issues.
Keeping in mind my interest in marginalized populations and my experiences, I believe that the program resonates perfectly with my own professional vision. I believe that I have the empathy, patience and emotional intelligence necessary to apply theory to practice, work with minority groups, especially women and youth, and help in tailoring treatment and strategies for them.
Carl Rogers has said, “The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change,” and this is exactly what drives me. I aspire to learn as much as I can, grow professionally, as well as channel my creativity to create unique solutions.
I would be honoured to represent Purdue, and hope to add value to my class, to continue the legacy of justice within the College and beyond the campus.