As the national conversation shifts to include decreasing stigma about seeking mental health treatment, Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) junior Ben Heim ’21 wants to understand the problem globally and learn to fight against it. Ben’s adviser, W&J Professor of Psychology Michael Crabtree, Ph.D., supported Ben by helping to guide his research and providing contacts in the early planning process of his project.
“For my Magellan, I wanted to explore a facet of Australia’s rising suicide rates. I looked at the origins of stigmas that surround mental illness and how they can deter individuals—especially men—from seeking mental health treatment.
I focused on the negative influence traditional masculinity norms have on men’s willingness to seek professional help. This topic is important to look at because globally, men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women.
Thanks to the broad range of classes I’ve taken at W&J, I felt like I was greatly prepared to embark on this trip. I believe this trip has helped guide me by pointing me toward a field I might be interested in. Next summer, I hope to travel out west for a research internship—hopefully somewhere with a balance of city and nature,” Ben said.