Social Work Spotlight: Meet Social Work-Infant Mental Health Student LaShae Brooks

LaShae Brooks smilingFor Wayne State Dual-title Social Work and Infant Mental Health Program student LaShae Brooks, flexibility was a must to take on a goal that at times seemed unattainable. Balancing life as a wife, mother of three daughters and full-time job while pursuing her degree was only possible with Social Work's flexible four-year track option. Wayne State was also the only university in Michigan to offer an Infant Mental Health program, which sealed the deal for LaShae to begin her Warrior journey, which will come to its conclusion in May 2021 when she completes her graduate degrees. The Dual-title Social Work and Infant Mental Health Program (IMH) helps students gain a thorough understanding of research and clinical work with infants and families. IMH graduates are prepared to become researchers, university faculty or practitioners who work in clinical cross-disciplinary teams with infants and families.

What drew you to the IMH Program?

I became interested in Infant Mental Health during my last two semesters of undergrad. In several classes we were studying adverse childhood experiences and mental health disorders. It was clear that there is a strong correlation between the quality of early relationships and children's emotional, cognitive and social development. I realized that I could partner with families in their child's early years to foster stable and nurturing home environments. Through the MSW/IMH program I saw an opportunity to help parents develop healthy relationships with their children that will have long-term benefits.

What is your favorite course in the program?

My favorite course this year is IMH Seminar course. During the seminar we discussed the importance of cultural humility and having a lifelong commitment to understanding the experiences, challenges and views of the diverse population I serve. This course has also discussed the importance of being aware of my own privilege and utilizing it to advocate for diversity, racial equity, and inclusion within social work practices and policies.

How has the program been beneficial to you?

There are many aspects of the IMH program that I love. One being the amazing professors. The professors are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate. I have enjoyed all of my classes. Secondly, the completion of the program grants me a dual-title graduate degree in Social Work and Infant Mental Health. This dual-title signifies that I have been educated and have first-hand experiences working with children 0-6. Talk about a competitive resume!

What do you plan to do after you graduate?

My plan after graduation is to take my family on vacation. We worked really hard to obtain this degree. After our vacation, I will pursue a career as an Infant Mental Health therapist within an Integrated Health model.

Any advice for new Warrior students?

My advice is to internalize the phrase "Warrior Strong". You are capable! Pursuing higher education isn't the easiest journey. This journey comes with long nights and times when you want to give up. Don't give up! Keep pushing!

My favorite quote:

"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them!" - Dr. D. Waitley

View the dual-title Social Work and Infant Mental Health degree program video. Learn more

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