It’s an ambitious, tailor-made agenda: travel to Brasil, South Africa, Ghana, Jamaica and England to conduct a cross-cultural exploration of mental health care for people with psychiatric disorders. That’s the plan for Kayla Cody ’15’s first year after graduation and it reflects both her majors – Africana studies and psychology.
“That’s why my project is so special to me – because it combines my passion for psychology/adolescent mental health and my passion for learning about the experiences and cultures of Black/African diasporic communities throughout the world,” says Cody from Brasil, where she began her work.
A Bristol Fellowship from Hamilton College funds Cody’s project. During her travels she spent time with staff and patients at psychiatric hospitals, at a school for students with autism and at a day-treatment facility for adults with mental health challenges, and more.
“Outside of better understanding what mental health care services look like for various African and African diasporic communities, my greatest hope for my fellowship is to simply grow and expand as a woman,” she says. “I want to live outside of my comfort zone, grow more confident in myself and my decisions, and continue to learn the value of cultural acceptance and appreciation.”
After the fellowship she wants to find a job in the U.S. working with youth who have mental health needs and eventually pursue a graduate degree in clinical psychology or a related field.