Through her research writing course at Arcadia, Amanda Dombroski ’20 developed an interest in mental health policy—one she couldn’t shake when she secured a position at a criminal law firm through The College of Global Studies’ London Internship program.
While compiling evidence and attending legal proceedings, Dombroski—a History and Politics, Government, and Law double major—noted how mental health factored into court rulings. She broached the topic with her adviser and colleagues, who helped her build the foundation for a socio-political analysis of policies in England and Wales.
Supported by faculty at Arcadia’s London Center, Dombroski unraveled a history of unethical treatment and stigmatizing rhetoric born from attitudes suggesting that mental illness was a social issue, rather than medical. Her research considers how the evolution of post-traumatic stress disorder treatment in the wake of World War II led to the deinstitutionalization movement.
Though access to mental health care and efforts to support marginalized communities have expanded, Dombroski stressed the need for services that consider the range of populations affected by mental illness. Her research recommendations call for stricter regulations to ensure that those seeking treatment receive adequate care to manage their conditions.
“My study barely scratched the surface,” said Dombroski, who plans to conduct similar research for her thesis and hopes to earn her law degree in London after graduation. “Having the ability to research a topic of interest to me, work at my own pace, and have a wonderful support network has given me much-needed confidence in my academic abilities.”