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Christopher supports mental health research for gender-diverse youth

11 January, 2022

Through a McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship, UWA Neuroscience student Christopher Tigor Dougherty has contributed 100 hours towards important research at Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) that looks to better understand mental health outcomes for gender-diverse young people.

Christopher undertook the internship at the Department of Health: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services with a project in the PCH Mental Health Team, working in the Gender Diversity Service.

Christopher sought out the McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship as he thought it would by an “amazing opportunity” to add to his Neuroscience studies.

“This placement was very exciting for me because I experienced a professional working environment in a clinical area, focusing on the mental health of trans young people ” said Christopher.

During the internship, Christopher supported PCH researchers with data collection, entry and management – including complex interpretation and coding of data – to help the research team gain insights into mental health and gender diversity, which will help drive positive and meaningful support for gender-diverse young people in WA.

Internship supervisor Blake Cavve said Christopher was “extremely dedicated and enthusiastic” in his internship role.

“His meticulous attention to detail was a great asset in the interpretation and coding of data. His interest in, and knowledge of, medical and neuro sciences has been a great contribution considering our focus on mental and physical health of trans young people,” said Blake.

Christopher says a highlight of the internship has been the support and learnings he gained from his supervisor, which has allowed him to grow his confidence and refine his professional skill set.

Christopher also commends the breadth of opportunities he has had while on his internship and recommends the program to other students.

“I would recommend McCusker Centre for Citizenship internship to all other students because of its wide variety of placements,” said Christopher.