Melanie Mason

2019 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award


Interned with Journey Mental Health, Community Treatment Alternatives

After interning at Journey Mental Health, I will be graduating in August of 2019 having majored in Legal Studies with a certificate in Criminal Justice. After graduation, I would like to gain more experience in my career field before deciding how I would like to continue my education by possibly attending graduate school.

This summer I had the wonderful experience of interning at Journey Mental Health in their Community Treatment Alternatives (CTA) program. CTA is a Community Support Program that works with individuals who have a severe mental illness and who have involvement with the criminal justice system, often times through conditional release or by pleading Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Illness or Defect (NGRI). CTA assists these individuals in multiple aspects of life such as obtaining a source of income, evaluating and monitoring medications, securing housing, substance use counseling and other daily living activities.

As a CTA intern, I was able to work with the team of case managers to assist in daily living activities for consumers, providing transportation, delivering medications and listening to discussions about potential changes medications or treatment plans. I was also able to attend multiple training events including Trauma-Informed Care and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Trainings. This internship allowed me to develop skills that I can use in my future career such as de-escalation and communication techniques with consumers.

Before this internship, I was confused as to which direction I would like to take my career. After spending the summer at Journey, I have realized that while I may not have an exact plan, I am sure that I want to help those who are most in need. I am incredibly thankful for the Audrey Harris Award because it allowed me to focus on my internship experience and participate in an opportunity that helped me grow.