“COVID has made me more aware of how important human connection is and resources for at-risk populations.” shares Ashley Silva ‘12, ‘15G.
Ashley, a double Viking with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Master of Social Work , has been working at The Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester in New Hampshire as a child and adolescent clinician. She also sits on the transgender subcommittee, working to increase awareness and inclusivity with the adolescent mental health population.
“Being able to bring services to those who may have transportation or financial barriers has always been a motivating factor for me as well as working with the adolescent population to hopefully change the path of this community,” she says.
The pandemic has changed the work of many in Ashley’s field. “As a clinician, the impact it has had on my clients has been indescribable. People who already suffer from isolation and lack of resources now have even less connection to the outside world.”
Ashley, like many during this difficult time, has taken a leave from work temporarily to ensure consistent childcare for her children. “I am in a position to be able to get through this with minor shifts to my daily life, but not everyone is so lucky,” she says. “If anything, I hope this increases awareness and support that the world needs and that it shouldn’t take a pandemic to get those resources out to people.”
Along with her Salem State degrees, Ashley has also recently earned her independent clinical license, which will allow her to work in a private practice and provide psychotherapy services and pursue a future leadership role in her field.