My name is Mahogany Monette and I am a junior from Los Angeles, California majoring in Psychology and African, African American, and Diaspora Studies. I am interested in the development of psychological disorders, particularly for African Americans. Specifically, I am interested in how discrimination impacts the mental health of African Americans as well as how to develop effective treatments for the unique needs of African Americans. This semester I have had the pleasure of working at Threshold Clubhouse, a clubhouse for people with severe mental disorders located in East Durham.
Interning at Threshold has been an incredible experience for me thus far. Prior to this semester, my experience in Psychology was limited to my coursework and time in the African American Youth Wellness Lab. Interning at Threshold has allowed me to see the clinical side of working with people with mental disorders. Threshold is a particularly unique experience because the majority of the members are either African American or from low-income backgrounds. Due to this, I have been able to examine how socioeconomic background and access to resources impact mental health outcomes.
During my time at Threshold, I have worked predominantly in the Employment and Development department. There we help members work on professional development skills such as preparing for interviews and writing resumes. This semester I have worked on many projects to make the department more accessible to members by finding community resources, making the space more user-friendly by incorporating graphics and images, as well as working on our social media engagement.
Interning at Threshold has reaffirmed by desire to pursue a PhD In Clinical Psychology. Working with the members of Threshold, I have realized that I am particularly interested in researching how to improve the experience of African Americans with severe mental illness, particularly schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder. I feel much more comfortable working in clinical settings, and am now interested in volunteering at a hospital next semester to observe mental health patients’ experience in this setting. The Gil internship has also helped me develop professionally, and increased my excitement for applying to doctoral programs. I am excited to see what the next year will bring and how I can apply the information I have learned from the Gil Internship to my coursework and professional endeavors.