Meet Bilqiis Sheikh-Issa

INDS B.A.: Culturally Informed Community Mental Health Care

Spring 2023 Capstone


My INDS Degree

Ethnic minorities encounter unique challenges when utilizing mental health services including misdiagnosis and lower-quality of care. My degree takes the social environment of low-income minority youth into account when assessing their mental health. By blending psychological and sociological theories, I can consider a person’s culture, history, and values which can inform which treatments are right for minorities. My interdisciplinary undergraduate experience will prepare me to design programs to extend culturally-adapted mental health services to low-income minority youth and constantly remind me that there is always more context than can be provided from a single perspective.

Post Graduation Plans

I am working towards becoming a Mental Health Program Coordinator, a position which has responsibility for overseeing professionals, ensuring that care is team-based and client-centered, and establishing interagency collaborations. I plan to research how to effectively implement strength-based programs for low-income minority youth and incorporate community input so that treatment is meant to empower individuals rather than “fix” them.

Courses In My Degree Plan

Mental Health and the Social Environment: These courses will help me understand the mental well-being of individuals and groups, and how social phenomena can affect psychological experiences. Taking social factors into account will help me better understand the psyche of the population I serve and equip me with an understanding of the layers that go into forming an individual’s and group’s values, beliefs, and issues. (SOWK 255, 388 /  PSYC 285, 340, 382)

Working with Vulnerable Populations: These courses will serve as a foundation to develop skills to form solutions for vulnerable populations facing unique challenges. They will help me understand the necessary skills that will allow me to create strategies, programs, and/or interventions that fit the challenges of at-risk populations. (SOWK 260, 374, 387 / AFST 271 / GLBL 383)

Community-Based Approaches to Address Health: These courses will give me a foundational understanding of components of community-based health services and how to develop those services. (AFST 271 / MLL 305 / PBHL 340, 354 / PSYC 387)

Interdisciplinary Coursework: These courses will provide me with the academic skills to integrate disciplines to achieve my central goal. (INDS 330, 335, 410, 430, 480, 490)