Graduating senior Ja’Miya Davis sheds light on the importance of maintaining mental health

From a young age, Port Gibson, Mississippi native Ja’Miya Davis, felt that her destiny would involve uplifting others.

“From the beginning, I knew that I was destined for something great,” said Davis. “I wanted to lead others to greatness. My goal is to show others that they are bigger than their fears, procrastination, doubts, and shortcomings.”

As she grew older, she realized that the perfect career path to fulfill her purpose would be psychology. On Saturday, Davis’s first step toward her dream of becoming a clinical psychologist will be complete as she will earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology during Alcorn State University’s Commencement Exercise. Not only will Davis graduate, but she will complete the academic achievement in three years.

Helping others achieve good mental health has become Davis’s passion. Her goal is to be a calming and helpful voice for those struggling to cope with life’s obstacles.

“My goal is to save lives mentally and help people find themselves again. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.”

The road to Davis finding her calling had its challenges. Years ago, after the passing of a loved one and experiencing the divorce of her mom and stepfather, Davis found herself having trouble dealing with it all. Although tough to handle, the tragedies piqued Davis’s interest in understanding the mind and its complexities.

“I became interested in psychology after the devasting loss of my biological father and my stepfather’s divorce from my mom. I didn’t know how to cope with these circumstances, and I even had suicidal thoughts. These moments taught me that mental health matters, and you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood to adolescence through adulthood. Unfortunately, life sometimes gets the best of us all. Disappointments could disrupt one’s sense of wholeness, making it unbearable to connect with others.”

Some years have passed since Davis’s mental health experience, and she has grown stronger and is more equipped to handle life’s uncomfortable circumstances. She leans on faith and positive thoughts to help her when times get tough.

“I have grown mentally. I stay positive no matter what comes my way. When life throw challenges my way, I get up and keep pushing, even while crying sometimes. I pray and deep God first. I give myself positive affirmations to uplift myself because self-love is the best. Also, I counter my negative thoughts with positive thoughts.”

While studying in Alcorn’s psychology program, Davis was introduced to the benefits that therapy offers. As a result, she encourages the Black community to invest in their mental health by seeking counseling when needed.

“The therapeutic process pushes you beyond your comfort zone. At the end of the journey, you will experience growth, change in perspective, increased self-awareness, and increased coping skills to improve your quality of life. Therefore we, especially the Black community, should embrace therapy because it helps.”

As she concludes this chapter, Davis reflects on the experience that she had at Alcorn. She’s thankful to receive her Alcorn education.

“My degree means a lot to me. Alcorn has played a big role in helping me to learn the fundamentals of psychology. My three years here have been amazing. I learned so much and met some great peers. Alcorn has prepared me for my future. I encourage others to get the Alcorn experience.”