This I Believe

Rose Lynn - Jacksonville, Florida
Entered on March 16, 2007

This Is What I Am Destined To Do

When I was studying for my undergraduate degree in Psychology in the Philippines, I decided to do my Practicum in a residential treatment center for people with mental illness. Each resident had an interesting story to tell but what struck me the most was that a lot of the residents there were abandoned by their families. I also found out that among 30 students in our class, only four of us did our practicum in treatment centers because my classmates said they were scared of working with the mental health population and that they could not imagine working in that setting for the rest of their life. My experience during my practicum, the stories I heard from the clients and the reactions of my classmates made me decide that if no one wants to work with this population, then I will do it myself. I made it my goal to work in the mental health field after I graduate. I believed that this was what I was destined to do.

I moved to America after I finished school. Despite having a college degree, I was unable to get a job in the field of mental health. I worked odd jobs to make ends meet. Every weekend I checked the paper and made sure I send at least two resumes to psychiatric hospitals and treatment centers. Every night I prayed to God to help me reach my goal. I never gave up hope because I believed that this was what I was destined to do.

Eight months later, I was hired to work as a Case Manager at a Psychiatric Hospital. I noticed that many case managers would leave their jobs after only working for the company for a few months. They said that the hassles of dealing with the clients were not worth the very little salary we get. I do agree that it takes a lot of patience to work with this population and that we do not get paid much for the things that we do but I stayed at my job because I believed that this was what I was destined to do.

Last January, I resigned from my job after working there as a case manager for almost seven years so I can focus on school. I am hoping to graduate with a Master’s degree in mental health counseling in December. I loved my job and I miss my clients terribly but I want to learn more about mental illness in order to be able help and understand my clients better. Working in this field is very rewarding. I am aware that the salary is not a lot, there is always danger in dealing with the clients and the job can be frustrating at times but I am confident that I will be fine because I know that God wants me to do this because This, I Believe, is what I am destined to do.