To Whom it May Concern:
It was a Thursday. My professor gave each of the students a copy of an e-mail we had received earlier that day. He asked if we knew what receivership was; I did not. I had no idea walking into class that this receivership was about to change the trajectory of thousands of students’ lives, including mine.
Everyone told us it would be fine. We were the only Clinical Psychology program in the state and there was no way that this program would shut down. I heard the phrase “cautiously optimistic” so many times that I still cringe when those two seemingly insignificant words are put together.
School closed on a Friday. Thousands of students, including myself, were traumatized. My dream of being a Psychologist came to an abrupt halt and my education had taken a detour by no fault of my own. Argosy University robbed me of my stipend, my credit score, and at times, my mental health. It did not, though, strip me of my dream.
It is incredibly lonely to be going through this process. Few have experienced an abrupt closure of a University that has been around for decades. How does one grieve a dream deferred? Or hope that was consistently crushed those grueling months?
Argosy University took many things from me, but it did not steal my passion to help others, it just created an obstacle in getting there.
A Determined Former Student
To the Editor,
Immigrants—regardless of their nationality or citizenship status—are victims of on-going trauma. Politicians, law enforcement, and news agencies have constantly directed their attention to the legal status of this population. Nevertheless, mental health care providers should be informed and address the issues that may impact the psychological health of this vulnerable population.
Most immigrants have experienced great trauma prior to their migration. At home, they have suffered extreme circumstances that have led them to their decision to migrate to other countries. Some of these include extreme poverty, gang-related persecutions, and high- risk environments which endanger their lives and expose them to abuse. These traumas lead to their perilous journey. However, as immigrants begin their pilgrimage to different countries, they face different challenges, such as food scarcity and highly infectious environments. Along the different phases of these journeys, immigrants continue to be exposed to abuse—particularly from those who promise to help them with their journey—as well as remaining vulnerable to extreme feelings of isolation and abandonment. Lastly, when society at large holds negative perceptions regarding this population, immigrants become victims of discrimination.
It is of great importance for mental health care providers to help establish our society’s understanding that these individuals are also human beings with dignity. Trauma has been and will continue to affect them greatly, as it is a universal experience not dictated by race, culture, or nationality.
Rita Michelle Rivera