International Grad Hopes To Promote Mental Health Around The Globe – College of Arts & Sciences

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Photo of Sinem Basaran
by Horace Holloman III
Ph.D. graduate Sinem Basaran believes advocating for mental health awareness is her life’s work and mission.
Basaran, originally from Turkey, has traveled to many countries including Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. In her journeys, she realized the stigma that surrounds mental health problems is worldwide.
“Mental health is a taboo topic all around the world, and that must stop,” Basaran said. “Life is short, and I want to do something meaningful. I feel like I’m on a mission to do something good.”
After earning a bachelor’s degree in business studies in Turkey and a master’s degree in management studies in Germany, Basaran came to Atlanta in 2016 to pursue a doctorate in Communication. She taught courses such as Human Communication and Media, Culture, and Society while working on her dissertation about how people use social media to seek support for mental health.
She was alarmed by statistics showing that mental health conditions have only gotten worse during the pandemic, and she has seen the effects first-hand.
“Covid really amplified people’s anxiety,” she said. “The loneliness, loss of jobs and transitioning to online learning. Everyone goes through mental health challenges. …
“I witnessed people around me and friends going through it. I also went through it myself with anxiety and stress and everything life throws at you.”
Basaran’s goal is to work in the private or nonprofit sector in a position that allows her to continue spreading awareness and positivity to those she encounters.
And she wants to resume her travels around the world.
“I get excited like a kid. Cultures have so many different layers,”Basaran said..
“I just feel like I’m accumulating all these experiences that are special to me. It’s like a blank canvas and I get to paint with so many different and beautiful colors.”
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