~ Hannah Freund, California Institute of Integral Studies People who are given psychiatric diagnoses experience some of the worst prejudice and discrimination.
They are more likely to be the victims of violence, have a harder time securing jobs and housing, and constantly come face-to-face with the harmful stereotypes that state that these individuals are violent and unpredictable.
However, I know that much of my success has been due to luck and privilege, and the opportunities that I have been afforded are an exception, not a rule. It is my hope that, through increased research and advocacy, society can come to understand that extreme distress is often a message about something that is wrong in a person’s world, and as such, is profoundly meaningful and can be understood.
Furthermore, by understanding the psychosocial origins of distress – trauma, poverty, inequality, etc.
However this paradigm has conversely led to an increase in stigma and an increase in the number of people on disability for mental health related reasons.
I was one of the fortunate few who was able to pursue a college degree despite being given a severe diagnosis and a hopeless prognosis.Due to this fact, I have decided that after I get several years of work experience applying psychology principles to the business world, I want to start my own non-profit organization that aids young adults who grew up in foster care or orphanages.Once they have turned eighteen the government will no longer provide very much aid to them; I want to supply them with the additional skills and services that they need to make it in the real world, and give them the emotional support that they may not have.I want Deaf people to feel comfortable coming to me without the need of a third person interpreter who is usually a stranger.Many Deaf people feel uncomfortable visiting a psychologist because of the need for a third person.We all know that there will almost always be something to do that sounds much more appealing than our studies, so why do we study if there is something better? Everyone has their own motivating factor that keeps them in line with studying. I have dreams of becoming a psychologist and helping people throughout my life.I also have a huge passion for American Sign Language.I plan to make a step towards breaking that barrier by being able to signor speak with any patient who comes to me.With all these huge goals I know that I have to be very on top of studies and make sure I continue to stay on track and do my best.I’m motivated to empower people to feel confident enough in who they are that they don’t feel the need to bring others down.When life as a student feels exceptionally challenging, I remind myself of the impact that the work I wish to practice has on people’s lives and those around them.