Hi everyone, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Jennifer Martin, and I am a graduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Public Health and in my final year working towards my Masters Degree in Public Health. For the past 3+ months, I have had the honor of interning with A Friend of Mind and contributing content to this blog each week! I want to thank Dr. Sherilyn (Garner) Duckworth, founder and director of A Friend of Mind, for the opportunity to be part of this great team of interns as I work towards adding new skills to the toolbox in which I will be so grateful to have as I venture off into the field of Public Health and health advocacy of all kinds post-graduation. It has been an honor and truly fulfilling to have contributed content and resources in the online spaces of A Friend of Mind social media accounts and the weekly blog on this website. My hope is that it can help those it reaches in any way possible.
I have learned a lot through my experience with A Friend of Mind when it comes to mental health and even more so about the many ways to cope with my own feelings of anxiety that come with the territory of not only being a graduate student but also, living through a worldwide pandemic that none of us saw coming. Personally, I have always been an advocate of a healthy diet, regular exercise, and mindfulness as some of the best forms of medicine for both our physical health and mental health, so I was thrilled to be part of an organization that emphasized some of these methods and advocated for use of them in helping to promote improved mental health in youth. Throughout internship with AFM, I dedicated time each week to researching the literature on the topic of meditation, mindfulness, and yoga, particularly in adolescents living in udnerserved populations and rural areas.
While the original paper I wrote is longer than included here, below is the Abstract of the review of literature which summarizes the research done on the subject of Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga for adolescents, and how it is beneficial to supporting the mental health of this population.
The promotion of Mediation, Minfulness and Yoga is supported in the literature showing that it is beneifical in imporvingt he mental health of adolescents, particularly when it comes to reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. A Friend of Mind has made it thier mission to provide programs for adolescents that aim to do just that!
A Friend of Mind really welcomed me into this organization so kindly and I have had tremendous support from Dr. Duckworth and fellow interns Sama Halima and Ariana Sims throughout this experience. I am so proud to be a graduate student with the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and so proud to have been an intern with A Friend of Mind. This organization is truly out here making a difference and I can’t speak highly enough of the people here remaining committed to the mission to provide mental health resources and advocacy to youth and families. Thank you again Dr. Duckworth and the entire team.
SIgning off for now,
Jennifer Martin, Social Media Intern