Georgetown Alumna, Rhodes Finalist Advocates for More Focus on Youth Mental Health

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November 22, 2017 – Georgetown alumna Christina Johnson (NHS’17) who wants to research ways to implement wide-reaching mental health interventions for young people, recently competed as a finalist for this year’s Rhodes Scholarship. 
Policy Solutions
Johnson, 22, of Redding, Connecticut, works as a lab manager and research assistant at the University of Pennsylvania’s Boundaries of Anxiety and Depression Lab.
Though the alumna did not win the Rhodes, she plans to apply to clinical psychology Ph.D. programs with focus on ways to impact policy changes around mental health.
“I would like to study public policy so I can analyze and propose solutions that make legal, ethical and economic sense,” she explains. “I’m particularly interested in policy that stems from the belief that health is a human right.”
She’d like to explore the developed world’s past and present policy solutions and mental health interventions as it pertains to child and family maltreatment.
Future Interventions
While at Georgetown, the human science major in the School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS) served as team captain for the varsity rowing team, and was named 2017 Corvias Patriot League Women’s Rowing Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as 2016 Openweight Team MVP.
She says she took her job at Penn to deepen her understanding of mental illness.
“The more I understand, the better equipped I will be to create more impactful interventions and solutions in the future,” she says.
The Grassroot Project
The alumna first became interested in the mental health of young people while at Georgetown.
She spent two years promoting health education within the Washington, D.C., community through The Grassroot Project – co-founded by fellow Georgetown alumnus and 2010 Rhodes scholar Tyler Spencer (G’09).
The nonprofit began with Spencer and 39 other student-athletes and focused on HIV-prevention, but Johnson helped The Grassroot Project broaden its emphasis on health education.
“For many of the D.C. …

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