UAB Psychology in India

In May 2015, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take part in a UAB Study Abroad course New Delhi, India.  This course–Cross-Cultural Perspectives of Mental Health–allowed my traveling cohort to spend 2 weeks in Delhi.  While there, we studied at the local university and explored the city.  We first delved into the issues that make it difficult to try and define one cohesive Indian identity–language, religion, etc.  Next, we discussed historical views of mental illness in India and how that view is beginning to shift.  To guide these discussions, we visited many places of worship and had the opportunity to talk with both traditional sources of aid (a faith healer) and more contemporary options (a psychiatric hospital and autism advocacy organization).  We saw how few professional resources exist  for treating mental illness in India but, on the positive end, how the public is beginning to favor a medical/psychological approach to treatment over a faith-based one.  I learned several things as a result of this trip.  As a psychologist, I learned much about perceptions of mental health.  As an individual, I learned much about exploring another culture.  It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.


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