Jennifer Martínez Sánchez

  • 2021 Summer Intern

Jennifer Martínez Sánchez is a first-generation, low-income student at Georgetown University. She is majoring in Sociology and minoring in Public Health and English. Given her experience with healthcare, Jennifer believes that medicine is a form of social advocacy. She aims to study how social and institutional contexts, such as employment, housing, food security, and/or immigration, influence the quality of health among vulnerable populations. Jennifer also hopes to encompass these stories of humanity through an MD/MPH program–to truly visualize and implement “care for the whole person.”

During the Global Mental Health Program, Jennifer worked with Dr. Annika Sweetland and Dr. Jennifer Mootz to build mental health capacity in low-income settings in Brazil and Mozambique by training non-specialists in interpersonal counseling (IPC) and screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT). Jennifer researched the neuroscience of learning and memory and then applied her findings to develop interactive educational materials within these evidence-based interventions. Jennifer also asked questions of identity, stigmatization, and social construction as she explained how and why we witness disparities in mental health recognition and integration in society through her analyses via blog posts and other media. Overall, Jennifer (un)learned perceptions and narratives of what it means to live and work with a mental illness. After being inspired by her colleagues, Jennifer now aims to advocate for Undocumented America in the field of global mental health as she plans to study how intergenerational trauma and legal violence (e.g. deportation and family separation) led to decreased physical and mental health outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic for undocumented essential workers.

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