Mental Health Association of Northwestern PA

A Unique and Positive Experience

Grasp the opportunity and have unique experience in your practicum semester.

When I began my internship at MHA, I had a very cursory understanding of what it was all about , when it was known as "Our place" and had a very club house sounding atmosphere. What I found when I began my internship, was an altogether different, unique and overall positive experience. I was used to prescribed solutions and assessment to solve problems and what I came into was an opportunity to learn about mental health and how to interact and function in the world of mental health, through peer interaction, rather than clinical solutions and models. The recovery model that the Mental Health Association uses incorporates the entire community, in helping its members to continue in their recovery, through advocacy, educational opportunities, employment opportunities and other social supports. The members are encouraged to participate in multiple levels of the organization and volunteers and interns alike are encouraged to use their own personal talents to facilitate positive changes and new experiences for the members and the organization. I encourage you, as other interns I worked with have also done, to take this experience and run with it. Use it as a way to craft your own understanding of who you might become as a social worker. Don’t miss the chance to truly get to know the members and the staff and see them as the dedicated passionate people that they all are…members, staff and administration alike. They are a special conglomeration of talents who work together well to facilitate change and understanding of Stigma in the community concerning mental health consumers. Grasp the opportunity and run with it because if you do, you may just find yourself having a very unique experience in your practicum semester.

Amy Lechner


BSW Program Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

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