For many years I have had a program in mind. An idea that have been tumbling around my skull, but I have been so blind to the reality that I actually could make this program work. Coming to D.C. has shown me that I can do this. It has shown me that I can make my dreams come true. I have seen what people are doing and that there are organizations doing great work. I have decided that I do not have to be hindered by my disability to accomplish my dream. I do not have to be hindered by the nay sayers in my life. Maybe academia is not my area to work in, but maybe it is my area to change.
My project is about changing culture. My project is about changing attitudes. My project is about education. My project is about stigma. My project is to develop a training program for college instructors. I want to educate these instructors on mental disorders and what to do when mental disorders become an issue in their classroom. I want to teach them about how to interact with students with mental disorders. I want to inform them what to do and what resources are available to them. I think it is importanyt for these instructors to know this information and to break the stigma of mental disorders in the academic setting.
I have spoken with many people with mental disorders who had negative experiences in college because their professors did not know what to do, or they were just blatantly discriminative. That is really what changed my mind about doing this program. I heard so many people who said they had bad experiences. I listened to their stories and decided that there were enough people, other than me, who thought that their instructors needed more eduction.
My sister is a professor and she calls me to ask what to do in certain situations. I have a masters in social work and have worked with people with severe and persistent mental disorder. I have experience working with this population. She does not. She is conscientious enough to know that she needs to consult with someone who does. Not all professors know that they need to that. I know there are more like her. Professors who do not know, but want to know. I want to provide them with the knowledge they need.
I have started the networking process to find out who I can work with on this project, and I have started my research. Watch out academia. I'm going to change your world.