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Joe Benson

School: Univeristy of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Major: Communications and Political Science
Class Level: Sophomore

I’m hoping to pursue a career in social responsibility of some capacity. For the basics, I am an avid reader (psychological thrillers are my favorite), I love writing and I am a long-distance runner. Throughout high school and first years of college, I’ve worked with various impact-based storytelling mechanisms recording the accounts of people whose experiences are characterized by passion, struggle and triumph. Further, my time as a Residential Assistant at a boarding school and mental health liaison to school administration showed me the importance of the work, and I hope to be impactful. I’m drawn to conversations of Mental Health and Emotional Wellness as the global society’s understanding of introspection evolves, and hope to participate productively.

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The World Health Organization defines “mental health” “as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” In using this definition, S2i recognizes that some mental health challenges reflect brain diseases that, like physical diseases, require appropriate stigma-free and patient-centered care and include both mental health and substance use disorders. Other mental health challenges stem from social conditions and marginalization and require different forms of interventions.