ATLANTA – Mercer University Master of Public Health (MPH) student Eunice Larbi is one of 22 graduate and undergraduate students nationwide selected to participate in this summer’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Internship Program.
The 10-week internship program, organized by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars (TWC) in partnership with SAMHSA, is designed to equip students from underrepresented populations to work in the public health field. The program is fundamental to SAMHSA’s efforts to reduce disparities in mental health and/or substance use disorders by building a diverse behavioral health workforce.
“We are honored to partner with SAMHSA on this important internship program, and we’re excited to have recruited highly talented students from diverse backgrounds who have a passion for public health and who want to make a difference,” said Kelly Eaton, chief academic officer and senior vice president of TWC.
Larbi is the only student from a Georgia institution and one of nine MPH students who will participate in this summer’s programs. Interns represent a variety of degree programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.
“Eunice was selected for this prestigious internship out of over 850 applicants nationwide, which is quite impressive,” said Lisa Lundquist, Pharm.D., BCPS, dean of Mercer’s College of Health Professions. “We are so proud of Eunice’s accomplishments and her focus on improving health and health equity in our state and nation.”
Larbi will work in SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity, which focuses on behavioral health disparities and health equity for racial and ethnic minority populations. Her duties will include supporting SAMHSA initiatives, such as the internal SAMHSA Equity Work Group and the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health, as well as drafting digital communications, providing policy research and conducting data analysis of behavioral health equity initiatives for the division.
“I’m excited about this opportunity to help find innovative ways to address health disparities and achieve equity for minority populations,” said Larbi. “Behavioral health is a very important field, and there are a lot of barriers – both structural and cultural – that prevent people of color from accessing necessary resources. I am eager to deepen my knowledge about these issues and support the efforts of the Office of Behavioral Health Equity.”
Larbi, from Lawrenceville, earned her Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences from the University of Chicago before enrolling at Mercer. Her interests include data, evaluation and health communications, and she hopes to work with marginalized communities to increase positive health outcomes.
SAMHSA’s full-time internships provide practical experience through projects, special assignments or research that supports federal, state and community-based programs, policies and best practices in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse and mental illness.
Each intern receives a stipend of $5,000-$7,590, depending on the length of the internship, in addition to round-trip airfare for in-person internships and housing, if needed, at a reduced rate.
Internship opportunities are in a variety of fields, including substance abuse and mental health prevention and treatment; federal, state and local government policies and regulations; health information technology; program administration, operations and management; research and data analysis; communications and social marketing; and grant management.
About The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars
The Washington Center is the largest and most established student internship program in Washington, D.C. Since our founding, we’ve helped more than 60,000 young people translate their college majors into career paths. We use our scale and expertise to customize each student’s experience to be truly transformative.
About the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.
About the College of Health Professions
Mercer University’s College of Health Professions is composed of six disciplines: physical therapy, physician assistant studies, public health, clinical psychology, athletic training, and kinesiology. The College offers a doctoral-level physical therapy program; master’s-level physician assistant program; bachelor’s-, master’s-, and doctoral-level public health programs, doctoral-level program in clinical psychology, master’s-level athletic training program, and bachelor’s-level kinesiology program. The Department of Physical Therapy also offers residencies in orthopaedic, neurologic and cardiovascular/pulmonary physical therapy; a fellowship in orthopaedic manual physical therapy; and an onsite clinic. Each program is housed in a department that provides students with comprehensive didactic courses taught by an extraordinary faculty and extensive clinical experience enhanced by outstanding service-learning opportunities. For more information, visit chp.mercer.edu.