Mallory, a health science major, was challenged by Wynnette Mockler, instructor of health sciences, to identify a health disparity in the community and create primary, secondary and tertiary public health interventions to help reduce the prevalence of this disparity.

"After analyzing, researching and identifying health issues prominent in Vermillion, it was found that one of the most prominent health issues our community faces is mental health issues,” said Mallory. “Particularly on USD's campus, there are prominent mental health issues with depression and anxiety."

Once she identified her issue, Mallory got to work to find a solution. She compared various public health interventions for students on different college campuses to determine the most suitable ones for USD. 

Mallory proposed several different interventions at the end of her research to help students with their mental health issues. Her interventions include educational classes on mental health, 24-hour emergency hotlines, online screenings for mental health problems, telehealth therapy counseling, and medication treatments for those struggling with mental illness.

Mallory hopes that her research can help USD and other colleges develop and implement intervention plans to help support college students who are struggling with mental health issues.

"I just really want to help people,” said Mallory. "I feel like helping and healing others is my purpose, so I am most proud of my research because I believe it can do just that – help people."

Inspired by her research, Mallory plans to continue her education after graduation and pursue a master’s degree in physician assistant studies and public health. She hopes to one day become a family medicine physician assistant in a rural or underserved community where she can help people every day.

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