Student Spotlight: Yvette Mazloumi
Empathy and Kindness Help Break Stigmas Around Mental Health, Says Touro Health Sciences Student
Growing up in Germany with Iranian Jewish parents, Yvette Mazloumi understands what it feels like to not quite blend in. She has felt like an outsider both in her native country and again after relocating to the U.S. But these experiences helped Yvette to be more sympathetic to the obstacles others are facing and prompted her to enter the mental health field.
Now a clinical mental health counseling student at Touro College School of Health Sciences, Mazloumi feels her exposure to varied cultures will help her to be a more empathetic mental health counselor. She is passionate about breaking the stigma associated with mental health disorders.
“I was always interested in psychology, how the human brain functions and people in general. I have observed that in life, almost everyone is going through some type of struggle, and I want to help. It is my dream to make a difference in people’s lives and in the field of mental health and it combines both my interests and strengths,” she said.
One of Mazloumi’s goals is to open up conversations around mental health, and she aspires to open a private practice where she will counsel adults to help increase and maintain relationship satisfaction.
“Going to a mental health counselor should be viewed as something as routine as going to the doctor. Most people suffer from some sort of anxiety, depression or stress and if we highlight the importance of taking care of our emotional health as a preventative measure, individuals and society can greatly benefit,” she added.
Personal Challenges Enable Better Understanding
Mazloumi speaks four languages fluently including German, English, Farsi and Neo-Aramaic and speaks Hebrew conversationally. She understands the frustrations of not being able to articulate your thoughts and feels she can better identify with patients, no matter their issue, religious background or family dynamic. Currently interning at the Zucker Hillside Hospital, Mazloumi has been exposed to people with all different backgrounds and has learned something new from each of her patients.
As a student at Touro, Mazloumi has an appreciation for all the supportive professors especially Dr. Kimberly Johnson. “She really cares about her students and spends time way beyond traditional class hours and encourages us to text her with questions or concerns. Additionally, she has a very positive attitude, helps motivate us and gives detailed feedback to help us be better mental health counselors. She also keeps us in the loop about important seminars, conferences or other activities going on in our field to remain abreast of new trends and best practices in the field,” Mazloumi says.
Exhibiting both compassion and empathy are two major components that are crucial when working in the mental health space. Combining these important traits with Mazloumi’s ability to overcome her own personal challenges enables her to relate to her patients and provide them with a higher level of care to improve their mental health.