Takeaways from a professional perspective

Among the many speakers at this year’s Social Justice Summit, Dr. Frances Broghammer will be drawing from her own personal and professional experiences to give advice on how to deal with mental illness.

Currently, Dr. Broghammer is working on the second year of her four-year residency training at the University of California, Irvine to become a certified psychiatrist. At the summit, she will be discussing the topics of mental health and mental illness and how these issues relate to adolescents and young adults.

There are several takeaways Dr. Broghammer hopes will remain with students after her talk.

First, she hopes students understand that mental illness rests on a spectrum. How one person experiences mental illness and mental wellness will differ compared to someone else’s experiences.

“It’s uncomfortable and we often don’t know what to do,” Dr. Broghammer said. “We see a lot of ‘othering’ in mental illness, an us-versus-them mentality, but in reality, if we can see those who are suffering as dignified and as human as any of us, then it can go a long way to bridge the gap in understanding and treating mental illness.”

Dr. Broghammer also hopes students understand the need to develop a healthy relationship with technology and minimize the negative impact it has on their lives.

“It’s kind of getting out of hand. [Our brains] are being hijacked by these apps and platforms we use,” Dr. Broghammer said. “We need to be mindful of that so that we can build a healthy relationship with technology moving forward.”

However, the most important role someone can play, according to Dr. Broghammer,  is to be active and engaged when listening. Often people feel compelled to “solve” others problems or offer advice…but an open ear, mind, and heart can go a long way.

If you would like to learn more about mental illness, come to Dr. Broghammer’s talks on Thursday, Feb. 7 during periods three and five.