I’ve been doing a lot of lecture summaries recently so for this blog post I’m going to switch it up. Last week I went to my final Model United Nations Conference at Johns Hopkins. I represented Austria in the World Health Organization. The first topic was Infectious Diseases which was interesting but I enjoyed debating about Mental Health much more. Last semester, I researched bipolar disorder and this was the first time I was able to apply my knowledge outside of the Westtown community. I was lucky in my country assignment because Austria is pretty advanced when it comes to mental healthcare so I was able to talk about how I truly felt about the importance of mental healthcare without breaking character.
Most of the delegates also supported improving mental healthcare which is encouraging because it means that the world is becoming more concerned with mental illness. The only extreme exception to this was the delegate from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea who claimed that mental illness is a fabrication created by the United States government. Needless to say, the delegate from the DPRK was not very helpful with writing resolutions.
My bloc was comprised of the US, Netherlands, Great Britain, Iraq, and Afghanistan. We focused on creating a plan to help those suffering from PTSD. We also made sure that the solution was long term as many elderly people including a large percentage in Austria still suffer from PTSD. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and none of the blocs were able to present their resolution papers. Still, during free time in between sessions, I talked with the other delegates about their personal opinions on mental health and they were all positive. I was glad to hear that they understood the importance of improving mental healthcare both in the US and the rest of the world. It would be interesting to give out the survey on stigma that Lily and I made last semester but it probably would not have been feasible within the time period. Based on what I heard from talking with people in my session, I think that there would be similar results compared to the Westtown community.
This is my last post for a few weeks. I’ll be in Israel-Palestine for my senior project and will get back to you when I return.