Rachel Salmon ’22 Hopes to Build a Career in Mental Healthcare

Rachel Salmon

For Rachel Salmon, the COVID-19 pandemic is reinforcing her decision to major in psychology with the goal of attending medical school to become a psychiatrist.  Social isolation, economic hardship and health concerns related to the pandemic are heightening conditions such as anxiety and depression, she notes, and she recognizes the critical need for mental healthcare as part of peoples’ of overall health.

“The mind-body connection is something that I’ve learned more about,” she says. “The mind is definitely often a part of our physical problems, and I think that’s often overlooked.” Coming from an upstate New York county with a population under 28,000, Salmon says she has observed that rural communities are often underserved in health care and especially in the area of mental health.

In her hometown, Salmon logged more than 300 hours in high school volunteering for the fire department, community hospital, 4-H program and Cooperative Extension Service, and she toured many communities representing the Thousand Islands region as part of the New York Miss America Contest. She is an avid dancer, and has been a dance teacher. In Syracuse, she volunteers for an outreach program for children with cancer at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Salmon began college at a state university, and was able to transfer to Syracuse University with the right financial support, including the Dewitt C. LeFevre Endowed Scholarship. “Syracuse University is my dream school and I didn’t know if it would be financially possible,” she says.

Knowing that donors care enough to give to scholarship sharpens her resolve to make the most of her time at Syracuse, Salmon says. “It’s nice to know that there are people out there supporting us and seeing potential in us. Any amount makes a huge difference in a student’s life.”