John Kerr

John Kerr connects passions for mental health and medicine

John Kerr has had an interest in psychology and specifically mental health disorders since high school, where he provided a support system for those around him.

“Throughout high school I saw myself as someone for my friends to go to,” he said.

Combining this passion of being a rock for others with his love of studying medicine, John is currently in the child, adult, and family services program, focusing on studying the reasons people form mental health disorders and how to help them. He plans on becoming a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner after graduation.

“Most of the curriculum [in my major] is based on how people’s social, emotional, and cognitive development is affected by different variables and practices,” John said. “We also cover what kind of outcomes can arise from these situations and how to foster positive development.”

Because he’s planning on being in an environment where he will be working with people who are facing mental health challenges, John said he will make taking care of his own mental health a priority and focus on the positive aspects of his career to avoid getting burnt out.

“In this field self care is huge,” John said. “I think just focusing on the good outcomes – to see people [feeling] better and living a better life is super rewarding. It’s a super rewarding career.”

John’s professors have shown him first-hand how important it is to focus on being a caring person in general – for himself and for others.

“They really genuinely care about your well-being and how successful you are, [which] makes the culture in the classroom more relaxed,” he said.

After graduating, John plans to do more schooling, which consists of completing an accelerated nursing program and getting his master’s degree. To stay motivated for what’s to come, he focuses on the future.

“I just find [my] career path – I’m super passionate about it. If that’s what it takes to get there and help those people, it’s totally worth it.”