Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA

Internship at the Mental Health Association reinforced my career choice of social work

Thank you so much for the opportunity to intern at the Mental Health Association. It was a wonderful experience, and made me even more positive that I would like to pursue a career in helping consumers with mental health issues. Over the course of the internship through my education at Edinboro University, I was able to spend many hours with members listening to them, and talking with them about their goals and plans for the future. It was incredibly rewarding to be able to help them focus and make plans when so many of them started out without much hope. Completing a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) was a very important aspect of interning at the MHA. The best experience during my internship was the ability to help consumers with advocacy. I enjoyed the support groups the MHA offered to the members, and in attending the groups opened my eyes about different disorders and the support from members was heartwarming. The opportunity to have an internship at the MHA was such a wonderful learning experience. I really enjoyed working with the members and the staff. From day one I felt very welcomed and appreciated. I truly can relate that a person with a mental health illness is a person first who just happens to have a mental illness.

The advice and experience from William Grove and Rita Wheeler has been tremendously helpful throughout my internship. I truly appreciate the confidence they have showed in me by giving me this internship. I sincerely appreciate the time they spent reviewing my education goals and recommending strategies for achieving them. Their advice was very helpful and gave me a new perspective on available opportunities. I appreciate the information and advice given, as well as the connections they have shared with me. Their expertise and help have been invaluable during this process.

I would recommend to any student to intern at the MHA. I will continue on with my education at Edinboro University pursuing a masterís degree in social work and will seek a possible internship again at the MHA. MHA is about second chances in life and myself being a non-traditional student, I was able to give my life experiences as an asset to the members, fellow intern students and volunteers. Helping others has helped me have a better understanding of people in the environment and how to overcome such obstacles and barriers in life.

Thank you once again to the members and staff of the MHA for giving me such a great learning experience and lifetime memories that will always be used in the practice of a knowledgeable social worker.

Sincerely,

Linnea Pickard
Edinboro University

May 6, 2014

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