My first real experience with Mentally Ill
During my externship at Rockland Psychiatric Center, I first encountered the mentally ill population. I was a young, eager, undergraduate student who really had no experience in this field. I was placed in the Recovery Center where I was supervised by the director of psychology and the psychiatrist of the unit. In the Recovery Center, I participated in weekly unit meetings where we discussed events coming up and what programs the clients would be able to attend. I also sat in on a chorus group and watched how the peer advocate interacted with the clients. I also ran my own group, the Healthy Lifestyle group, where we discussed healthy food options and exercise that would help speed up their recovery. I also learned how to read Forensic patient's files and how to interact with these types of individuals as well. The hardest part of the job was just not knowing how to handle certain situations since it was my first time with this population, so I did have to ask some questions. This was also helpful because I learned a lot when I had to ask my supervisor questions. The most enjoyable part of the job was during my last week and one of the clients told me that he was lucky enough to have met me because it's nice to work with someone who has such compassion towards their type of population.