Cassie Hickey


1. What are you doing now?


I work with Generations/Gaither Mental Health Center, where I am the housing coordinator. I work with individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental illness. We provide treatment for those individuals that need to transition from being in a psychiatric hospital to living independently. I help those needing placement from psychiatric hospitals. I travel to different psychiatric hospitals including Western Mental Health Institute in Bolivar and Memphis Mental Heath Institute in Memphis. I interview patients, review their history of previous hospitalizations and placement as well as their history in behaviors, and determine what placement or treatment is best suited for them. Tenncare pays for this treatment, so I must provide information to Tenncare to approve their treatment. I, then, keep up with their progress to assist with determining what their next best step is after completing their treatment.


2. How did UTM Psychology Program help you achieve what you have become?


The psychology program at UTM gives an individual all of the basic knowledge to go into just about any field or career one would want. It has most definitely benefited me not only in my life but also in my job. I learned specifics about different mental illness diagnoses in abnormal psychology; I learned medical issues concerning the body and its health in Physiological psychology. One of the most important assets to the psychology program at UTM is its professors. There has not been one that I have met that was not willing to help their students in any way that they could. I had the opportunity to complete research with Denise Jones. I did research with patients in a nursing home with an emphasis on those who had been diagnosed with a mental illness. This became very beneficial when I was interviewing for my current job.


3. What advice would you give to students who are thinking about becoming UTM psychology majors?


Psychology provides one with many opportunities and a variety of career options. Psychology can be a very broad study, yet very specific at the same time, and that is what is so great about it. Psychology will benefit one in any career that they choose, whether they choose to work with children, mentally ill, working with the public in general, or even doing research.


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