Hi! My name is Trevor Talmadge and I’m a rising senior at UGA from Nashville, TN. I’m majoring in Women’s Studies and Linguistics and plan to graduate in May 2019. After graduation, I hope to take some time away from academic classwork to work before going to graduate school to get a Ph.D.
A major lens through which I view the world is mental health, mental illness, and suicide. What originally struck me was the inattention to how many suicide deaths we face on an annual basis in the United States. To me, this is symptomatic of a larger societal disconnect in discussing mental health. Most crucially, I want to illuminate how societal norms that span but are not limited to gender, race, class, sexuality, and ability each exacerbate mental health issues across these boundaries but in different ways. Having explored these issues in my academic and personal life, even the most preliminary discussions of mental health obscure the challenges that marginalized groups face. In my project, I hope to shine a light on the idea that reflecting on our understanding of social systems can provide us with the empathy necessary to create spaces of discussion and understanding.