Isobel “Izzy” Ngo
Class of 2020
During my application interview to Yale-NUS, my interviewer asked me “What do you want to study in college?” I answered, “I don’t know, but the most important thing is that it has to be about people.” I didn’t know what Anthropology was back then, and it took me almost three years to declare it as my major, but in hindsight I think I was always meant to be an Anthro major. Because, for me, Anthropology is more than a major, it’s a way of being. I love the discipline’s fundamental views on people, the immense amount of value it places on people’s beliefs and lived experiences. I think being an Anthro major instills a deep respect and love for people. I come away from every lesson, interview, discussion, feeling as if my soul has been nourished. The first Anthropology class I ever took at Yale-NUS was Sexual Economies taught by Professor Gabriele Koch. The class looked at topics such as sex, sex-work, different variations of sex-work, the body, and gender. Though you might think that I was drawn to the topic simply because it’s sexy (pun FULLY intended), but what I found so compelling about the class was that it interrogated precisely this sensational, scandalous, distracting aura that surrounds sex, forced us to look past it and ask ourselves – what’s really going on here?
About My Capstone:
The Social Construction of Mental Illness – Mental Health Education Programs for Youths in Singapore
Mental health literacy and the stigma towards mental illness is a big issue in Singapore. I have struggled with mental health, and I have seen friends and family struggle too. Over the past 2 years I’ve dedicated my life outside of school to working towards destigmatizing mental illness through different mediums such as Virtual Reality. All of this has inspired by capstone topic, and through this capstone I hope to not only better understand the nature of mental health and stigma in Singapore to inform my work, but also to learn how to be a better support those who struggle with mental illness.