Why is adolescence a risky period for the onset of depression?
Why as a black woman am I more likely to be offered antidepressant medication than offered talking therapy?
Why are black people five times more likely to be diagnosed with schizophrenia?
My name is Sarah 'Bossy Student' Atayero and I want to find out the answers to these questions about mental health. I'm currently a final year undergradaute Experimental Psychology student. After a gruelling three years of essay crises, tears and student finance I've decided to go back for more in the form of an MSc in Affective Disorders at King's College London starting this September.
I'm really excited by this opportunity as King's is a world leading institute in psychiatry, with excellent research groups and facilities dedicated to mental health disorders. In the future I want to train as a clinical psychologist who focuses on treating and providing better therapy services for individuals suffering with mood disorders such as depression and anxiety, particularly within the BME community.
Whilst this is a very important area of research there aren't many clinical psychologists in the UK that look like me - that is according to the latest stats. I want to change this! However this is an expensive task..
Here's a breakdown of the masters course costs (and my brief analysis of them)
My tuition fees are £10,500. A saddening fact is that 6 years ago masters courses cost around £3,000 - oh why wasn't I born in the 80s?
I chose to study at King's College London because the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience is world renowned for its research and mental health facilities in connection with the NHS. However because it's London the estimated cost of living is an extortionate minimum £12,000 (this estimate includes accommodation, travel and food).
Finally I need to account for the 6% Crowdfunder fees that will be taken off the total amount raised + processing fees from card payments (no service is free in this world - not even Church)
So yes postgraduate study is expensive! But I'm not leaving it to you lovely donors to foot the entire cost...I've spent the last 2 months writing scholarship essays, appealing to different charities and looking for part-time work. Although, I've not received the outcome of most of these applications, my guess is the total funds sourced wont reach the £22k+ I need to do my course. Also after having gone through the £9,000 a year tuition fees I am very apprehensive towards taking out another government loan.
All donations - of any size are welcome, please give what you can, share the page, leave a comment and help me change the face of mental health professionals in Britain!
Thank you in advance,
Stressed finalist, Financially insecure, Beyoncé enthusiast,
*If you need further convincing/are still reading/want to know more about me*
1. Mental Health
I’ve wanted to be a psychologist for the last 6 years, and everything I’ve done in that time has been leading towards that career path. That’s – every summer spent as an unpaid research intern, every volunteering role, every conference attended, article written or read.
University has been quite formative in developing my understanding of what kind of psychologist I want to be - I want to focus on mental health in people like me – that is adolescents, black people and women - I want to understand how all these factors intersect. I also want to work towards providing better community services to help those who do not readily have access to therapy.
Like most people my age I've had my fair share of mental health problems - or known others who have dealt with such issues. Whilst there are a number of great organisations and resources out there - for example Mind, YoungMinds and Student Minds, there doesn't appear to be much support for the specific needs of BME individuals. More of my musings on this issue can be found in a recent piece I wrote for gal-dem.com.
Growing up in Luton you realise that most students aren't given the information or resources they need to reach their full potential. During my time at university I've tried to help and support students from backgrounds like my own - low-income, single parent, BME etc., to learn more about the unviersity experience and make succesful applications. I helped out at last year's Oxford ACS Annual Access Conference and I became an ambassador for the university. More specifically I have been back to my old school a few times to give talks and run access sessions, for example Luton Roadshow last year.
Recently, a really great initiative has launched in partnership with Luton schools and my college, which I have been a part of by giving talks and working with the organisers (picture below). The point of all these talks is to equip students with the confidence and skills they need to do what ever it is they have their hearts set on after leaving school, whether thats university, apprenticeships or jobs. Also with the decreasing financial support provided to such students its essential they are informed of how (un)affordable university can be!
I'm one of those annoying people who always has their headphones in, or in a conversation about music says "I've seen them live, they're great!" I love going to music events, nothing beats live music (although future gigs and festivals are put on hold until further notice - that is until i can afford my masters), back when I had money I'd seen everyone from the Rolling Stones to Beyoncé, Biffy Clyro to Azealia Banks, The Joy Formidable to Ibeyi, Jamie XX to Kwabs. I think the last time I counted I'd seen over 100 acts live.
Thanks for visiting the page and your kind support! - Special shout out to anyone who reached this far down!