When I began my work as a therapeutic mentor at the Island Counseling Center in 2013, I learned that on the island there is a great and diverse need for mental health care. Specifically, for the Brazilian population, there are no providers that speak Portuguese or come from the Brazilian culture. After personally working with this population, I realized that I could be of greater service if I became a mental health counselor, capable of culturally sensitive (as a Brazilian immigrant myself) and direct service (without an interpreter).
In 2014, I decided to pursue a dual degree in mental health counseling and theology and Boston College. The counseling program has a focus on social justice and cultural sensitivity, while a masters in theology will allow me to competently work with clients who put faith at the center of their lives.
Currently, I am going into my third year of my program. During my first summer in between academic years, I returned to the Island Counseling Center and resumed work interpreting for Brazilian clients, administering intakes so that clients could be seen faster, and helping to enhance the intake process. My second summer, I continued taking courses in ethics, substance abuse treatment, and foundations of theology. This upcoming school year I will begin an internship at South Boston Behavioral Health, where I will have the chance to work with populations suffering from addiction, and severe mental illnesses. In about a year and a half, I hope to transfer the skills I learn at SBBH over to the Vineyard, where many people also struggle with substance abuse and mental illness.