Erum Majid Randhawa was born, raised and currently resides within the city of Hartford, Connecticut. From a young age, Erum has wanted to help other people and work towards solving the mental health epidemic that currently plagues the world. After graduating from high school, Erum attended the University of Hartford where she double majored in psychology and biology. After graduation, Erum has remained within the Hartford community working as a mental health counsellor at the St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
What I love the most about the industry I am in is that I get to meet with and help new people every day! Everyone has their own struggles, but I have the unique opportunity to help them find ways to lessen their problems. Also, the industry for mental health counselling is growing and developing rapidly so it is an exciting industry to be in currently.
What does a typical day consist of for you?
Every morning, I get into work at 8am and then I am working with patients for most of the day. Between being in meetings with patients, and doing administrative work for my patients, I rarely have a moment of rest during the day. In the evening, I will spend some time doing personal development and keeping on top of the latest news and findings within the medical field so that I am always on top of upcoming changes.
What keeps you motivated?
What keeps me motivated to work hard everyday is knowing how important the work I am doing is for so many other people. It is not only the people that come into my office seeking counselling that my work has an impact on, but also their friends and family who they interact with on a daily basis. Just knowing this is more than enough to keep me motivated to work hard and help all of my patients lead a better life.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from all of my patients that I work with on a daily basis. Everyone that I meet with is struggling in their day to day life but are still finding ways to push forwards and improve themselves. It is something that I have always found inspirational and it makes me strive to always be bettering myself as well.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
My suggestion would be to make sure that you are passionate about the job and certain that this is what you want to do. The role of a mental health counsellor is one that involves long hours and dealing with a lot of patients who are struggling in their lives and look to you as a rock for them to hold onto. It can be a challenge knowing that so many people are looking up to you to help them through their hardships, but it is also one of the most rewarding feelings ever when one of my patients feels like our work has succeeded.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
I would say that there is no one biggest accomplishment within my industry. Rather, I find every one of my successful cases to be a major accomplishment because I know that I have helped someone get their life back on track and they have a better future now because of our time together. Whenever I have my last meeting with a patient, it is a strange feeling because I am sad to see them go but I am also happy that they feel that they are ready to move on with their lives.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
The one piece of advice that I would give to others is that you should be willing to ask for help when they are struggling. Especially with mental health issues, struggling in silence can lead to problems worsening. While there is still a stigma in some communities about mental health problems, you need to be willing to do what is best for yourself and seek the help you need. Even if it is only talking with other people in your family, it is a start and the first step to talk to someone is always the hardest part.
What trends in your industry excite you?
I think the trend that excites me the most is that mental health is finally being recognized as a serious medical problem that a lot of members of our society struggle with. With this realization comes the chance for us to improve our industry through funding to help stop the mental health issues that plague both America and the world.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
I see the mental health industry growing rapidly over the next five years. With the developments and acknowledgement that mental health is a serious concern in America, we will have more funding to research new methods of helping people. Obviously, it is far from realistic that we will cure mental health problems in 5 years, but I do hope that we have research going to find methods of mitigating some of the more common problems such as depression.
Explain the proudest day of your professional life.
The proudest day of my professional life was when I finally graduated from school and was finally able to start working full-time. It was the culmination of a multi-year journey that started in high school when I realized what I wanted to do every day for my professional career. Finally having the ability to say that I am a fully certified mental health counsellor is something that I will remember for the rest of my life.