MSPP Student Ambassador
Global Mental Health program
My name is John Meigs and I'm a first year student in the Global Mental Health program. It's the first year of the program and it's exciting to be part of something new at MSPP. I'm originally from Massachusetts and decided to pursue an advanced degree after being out of school for almost ten years. I've always been interested in international relations and international development. I studied economic development at undergrad but never pursued work in the field because I didn't think any of the NGO's or development organizations took the human element into account. I started working in the addictions field and when I thought about pursuing an advanced degree the Global Mental Health program caught my attention because it seemed like a great synthesis of my interest in international development and mental health.
The program is great so far, there is definitely a clear focus and it is not what I expected. I figured I would learn the ins and outs of working at a refugee camp and debriefing survivors. I've come to realize that working with a global population has many distinct challenges and conventional wisdom regarding mental health, trauma, and resiliency have to be continually challenged and adapted to a specific population and culture. I'm learning how to do that.
My goals in the program are to learn as much as I can in order to be a more informed mental health clinician. The unique perspective of the program has already influenced how I approach working with substance users in the Boston area. I think this program will set me up to be a more informed and more effective clinician wherever I end up, whether it's in a refugee camp or an office in Cambridge... or both.
It's very hard to fall through the cracks at MSPP, which is good. The culture and community of the school is supportive and rigorous, and the focus is based in the practical application of psychology. I'm glad I'm here.
If you pace yourself, give yourself plenty of time to study, ask questions, and remain engaged with the work that you are doing you will be successful at MSPP.