When Emily Cutajar ’21 learned that the job she had planned for the summer was canceled due to COVID-19, she rushed to find another internship. Looking toward a future helping people with mental health issues, she felt it important that she spend these few months further immersing herself in the field. And, after reaching out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), she found a new opportunity.
Working from home for the Long Island branch of NAMI, Cutajar helps run the organization’s Instagram account, promoting NAMI’s events and providing educational content. “Because everyone is remote, social media is that much more important,” she said.
Cutajar is also getting a feel for the kind of events that NAMI hosts. She regularly sits in on the socialization workshops and virtual classes that the participants attend, observing how the organization conducts events for its various groups. As the summer continues, Cutajar will undergo more training to learn how to work more directly with others in other types of workshops.
Hometown: Long Island, N.Y.
High school: Oyster Bay High School
A psychology major, Cutajar hopes to pursue a degree in clinical psychology after graduating from Hamilton and eventually work at an inpatient hospital. “I think [mental health] is extremely important, and I want to be able to help people struggling, especially because I’ve struggled with certain things and I know how isolating it can feel,” she said. “Basically, I’m just trying to be someone that a younger me would have needed.”
Cutajar is glad to be a part of NAMI and looks forward to working for the organization over the next few months. “I’m happy that so many mental health organizations are continuing to help people remotely because I think this pandemic has really taken a toll on everyone’s mental health,” she said.