Becoming a licensed clinical professional counselor to support those who feel like the world has given up on them

I declared my major in psychology my sophomore year after observing the impact that mental illness has in the college-aged population. I have always been fascinated by the study of the mind, and from a young age, I fostered a strong inclination to help others work through their struggles. When I came to college, the need for mental health professionals became so apparent to me. In a society that promotes healthy living, psychological well-being is often downplayed. I have chosen my course of study because I believe that mental health is just as important, if not more important, than physical health.

I myself was diagnosed with major depressive disorder my senior year of high school. Throughout my adolescence, I held myself to extremely high standards in terms of my achievements. In my mind, if my performance (whether it be on a test, in a sports game, or within social roles) was not the best, then I had failed. This toxic mindset sent me spiraling into two years of feeling so low that I could no longer carry on with my normal lifestyle. I no longer saw the point in all of the activities I used to engage in and I lost any of the joy that used to accompany my achievements. The spring of my senior year in high school, I chose to seek out help and was so fortunate to have clicked immediately with my therapist. She helped to talk through the unhealthy cognitions I had held towards attaining success and brought me out of the dark place I had been in for what seemed like forever. It was not easy to change the mindset that I had been stuck in for the past five years, but with the help of professional psychologists and psychiatrists, I was able to overcome these irrational, maladaptive thinking patterns and ultimately start living again.

I hope to be able to assist others in the way that I was helped during my time of mental strife by graduating with a degree in psychology and pursuing further certification as a mental health counselor.  Having someone who listens and understands, who is willing to take the time to figure out the best course of action, and who will advocate that mental illness is just as disabling as any physical illness is critical in times of emotional stress. To become a licensed clinical professional counselor would mean I get to play a role in supporting those who feel like the world has given up on them. Being able to provide a positive impact in the lives of patients who feel emotionally and mentally unsteady, the way I and millions of others have felt at some point in life, would be the most intrinsically rewarding career path to follow. Graduating with this degree will enable me the opportunity to touch countless lives and hopefully eradicate some of the stigma surrounding mental illness.

We are proud to announce Lucy Rawson is one of the current JustJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘heart’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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  • Mary Elizabeth Prescott

    Good luck Lucy! I’m so glad I met you at Dirigo Girls state (many years ago now :O) you were a great roommate and I remember how easy it was to talk to you. I know you’ll be a great confidant for your patients. Good luck with everything, I wish you the best!

  • Stephen Clark

    Hello Lucy. We do not know one another, but your Dad and I were best pals in Swarthmore High School. He may or may not know that I was counciled during high school by a therapist as my parent’s marriage fell apart. I later came “out of the closet” to my piers only to land in the midst of the AIDS crisis. I lost, basically, all of my closest friends from college, grad school and from my life in NYC. I found a wonderful & passionate therapist in NYC and I can say, without a doubt, that without her care I would have never made it through. I am sure all the counseling I received along the way, over many years, allowed me to pursue healthful physical activity (sports) and a healthy attitude for life in spite of the challenges. I was living in downtown NYC on 911 – once again, I turned to therapy to help me through. I am so happy that you shared your story! I’m really glad that you are inspired to study as a result of your own appreciation of the importance of therapy. It’s people like you who will help improve quality of lives in big ways! Congratulations and best of luck!
    Most Sincerely, Stephen Clark (age 62).

  • laurie burhoe

    Good luck and congratulations on your inspired life !

  • Megan Hixon

    I’m so proud of you Lucy. Not only for sharing your experiences and openly talking about depression, but for choosing a major that will give you the opportunity to help so many people everyday. I am very lucky to have grown up with such a compassionate and loving person. I can’t wait to see where this profession takes you.

  • Judy Reardon

    I hope you are able to pursue your chosen profession. Clearly you would help many, many people live their full lives.

  • Ali Rubin

    So proud of you Lucy!!! More so, I’m inspired by your vulnerability that you shared within your essay! Thank you for sharing and being so brave.

  • Tim Robbins

    Congratulations on becoming a finalist! I’ve been close to many who have needed mental health support and it is great to know that your compassion and experience will be helping others.

  • Lynn Freeman Robbins

    Thank you, Lucy. It is through sharing stories like yours, that people can trust that there is hope. Stigma is the shadow of mental illness that impedes a sense of wholeness long after the initial suffering has ended. Allying with with people in pain through empathy and compassion breaks through the loneliness and paves the way to recovery. I’m grateful you found a therapist who not only helped you, but also inspired you to begin your own journey as a healer.

  • Michelle Rines

    Thank you for sharing your story Lucy…your courage and empathy are inspiring and will certainly help others who are lucky enough to cross your path. lots of love from the rines !

  • Kate Bussey

    Proud of you Lucy!!!

  • Lauren Shiner

    Good essay. I found out I had clinical depression when I was 50. All it took was half of a tiny pill (and some therapy) for it to be fixed forever. You’re so fortunate to have had it diagnosed & treated at such a young age. I struggled every day to fight through the depression just to get up in the morning, and then to go about living my life under that pall. I understand the stigma & that’s why I usually don’t volunteer it, but if they ask, I’m fine with telling them most of what they want to know. My only regret is that I didn’t figure it out 40 years earlier. I think of all the things I could have done if I’d been able to punch through the depression. Good luck.

  • Sam L

    Very inspiring Lucy!

  • Kurstyn Morley

    What a well written and inspiring essay. Thank you for your candid account of your journey towards clinical counseling, Lucy. To those making the decision regarding this scholarship, Lucy is a great candidate. She is smart, driven, and entering this field for all of the right reasons. She absolutely deserves this scholarship so she can take the next step towards helping countless individuals find peace in mental health.

  • Kirsten Skorpen

    Lucy’s courage,empathy and compassion will light the way for many others as they navigate darkness and fear towards health and healing. Thank you, Lucy for choosing to be “that person in time” for others – I am honored to watch you “become.”

  • Cindy Guendert

    My son was diagnosed with mental health issues his junior year in high school. Kudos to you, Lucy, for not only choosing to pursue a career in this helping profession, but also for “going public”. There is still far too much stigma attached to mental illness, and only being open about it can help remove public misperceptions.

  • Sarah Bingham

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and openly talking about depression. We wish you the best of luck in the future. Mr. and Mrs. Bingham.

  • Susan Ethridgs

    Lucy I am so proud of you and your essay is incredibly moving. Thank you so much for sharing your struggles – and what helped you overcome them!

  • Steve Rawson

    Beautiful, inspiring essay, Lucy! So proud of you. You will help so many people pursue happiness!

  • Karen Freedman

    Lucy’s honest take on choosing her major. So. so proud of her hard work, growth and commitment to a helping profession.

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