Twenty Lehigh University counseling psychology graduate students visited the United Nations in New York in March to underscore their program's emphasis on global social justice and diversity issues.
"Too often we focus on domestic culture in graduate training," says Lehigh counseling psychology professor Arpana Inman, PhD, who orchestrated the U.N. trip. "But with globalization, countries and cultures are growing increasingly interdependent, which is reflected in issues addressed at the United Nations."
Students met with Richard Alderslade, the senior external relations officer and acting deputy director of the World Health Organization Office to the United Nations, who talked about the history of mental health access and current trends in psychological health-care issues across cultures. Presenters also introduced students to the myriad international and U.N. internship and job opportunities within bodies like the World Health Organization and the Human Rights Council, Inman says. The students also toured U.N. headquarters.
Anju Kaduvettor, a Lehigh fourth-year graduate student, whose research did not explore international issues before the trip, left the United Nations eager to learn more about mental health access in different countries.
"When I left the United Nations, I knew I wanted to do some type of action," she says, noting that she aims to expand her research focus to examine international mental health concerns.
Each year U.N. officers conduct hundreds of briefings for groups. To coordinate a group tour or schedule a group briefing, contact the U.N. reservation office at (202) 963-4440.