Alexandra Shiflett believes Baltimore can be a leading city in the advocacy and implementation of mental health services. Her volunteer work in the city fuels her desire to bring clinical research and practice into lower income areas, particularly at-risk youth.
From her experiences with Healthcare for the Homeless, Dream Academy and two internships at Sheppard Pratt, Alexandra has a better understanding of what is at stake for adolescents who can benefit from mental health services. “Studies suggest 50 percent of patients admitted to a mental hospital are readmitted within one year and the CDC reports that suicide was the number three cause of death among adolescents,” says Alexandra. “I am strongly motivated to research new ways to implement community-centered mental health programs.”
Although some consider her vision idealistic, Alexandra says her Baltimore Collegetown LeaderShape peers encourage her to pursue her vision as a future reality: “Collaborating with other students showed me how real our visions were, and solidified that a better future is possible.” They gave her the confidence to take steps toward achieving her vision.