Natalie Castillo O’Brien, Master of Public Health.
Natalie Castillo O'Brien's global journey has led her to diverse locations, culminating in her current residence in the enchanting country of England. When the global pandemic emerged in 2020, O'Brien, then an undergraduate healthcare administration major, immersed herself in understanding public health dynamics, sparking a profound interest in epidemiology. Pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) became her next logical step, and HPU offered the ideal program to refine her skills further. Despite relocating to England midway through her MPH studies, O'Brien found the HPU program fulfilling and valuable, demonstrating her commitment to overcoming logistical challenges.
Her master's capstone project, "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Health Seeking Dilemma," benefited significantly from her internship and volunteer work with HealthWatch England. The research underscored the complexity of the OCD health-seeking dilemma, emphasizing the urgent need for policies promoting mental health literacy across various settings. These initiatives, according to O'Brien, can facilitate early detection, diagnosis, and treatment for individuals grappling with OCD.
O'Brien attributes the shaping of her HPU education to guidance from professors, collaboration with peers, and hands-on experiences in the broader community. Looking ahead, she is determined to continue her academic journey, pursuing a Ph.D. in epidemiology.