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Dr Robert Edinger with Son David



MA Mental Health Counseling, Kuwaiti

This application is made because of my close interest in health service provision and my wish to work, at a senior level, in the Ministry of Health in my own country. It is widely believed that a country as rich as Kuwait, which devotes massive resources to health services, cannot therefore suffer any major problems in health service provision. However this is not the case, there are problems some of which are serious and which I hope to help address by acquiring the skills, knowledge and research opportunities afforded by earning the MA Degree in Mental Health Counselling at XXXX University.

An example of failure in health service provision in my society relates to the issue of mental health which is a near taboo subject in Kuwait. The results of being judged to be mentally ill carry with it seriously damaging consequences socially, educationally and professionally. The problem begins early. Parents strongly resist a diagnosis of ADD, ADHD or Autism for fear of potentially life-long consequences for their child. Consequently such a child’s condition is likely to go untreated in a normal school environment lacking specialist educators and thus the child is most unlikely to achieve their potential. The problem is not, of course, limited to childhood conditions but includes the whole range of adult psychiatric and psychological conditions ranging from the most serious to mild depression.

Free mental health treatment is available in Kuwait. Provision and financing are not the problems. The problems are the societal disincentives to seeking such treatment and the attitude of those, including mental health service providers themselves, to those being treated. I am under no illusion that I can single-handedly reduce or eradicate prejudice but hope to be a part of the solution. After gaining experience within the Ministry of Health, I hope that I might be able to found and lead an NGO with the major goal of improving this situation.

I excelled academically at school and, as a consequence, I was awarded a full government scholarship for undergraduate and graduate study abroad and am currently studying Politics at Edinburgh University and am predicted to be awarded 2:1 degree. My choice of Politics arose from an interest with the ways in which governments establish their priorities, formulate policy and implement it and especially how these processes work, and might be improved for the general good, in my own country. I have focused my efforts on studying the sociological aspect of politics, social and public policy and social work. I have also been seeking to understand how the language that organisations employ affects users and the ways in which minorities are excluded from the benefits of implemented policies. I have also studied Research Analysis which I believe is highly relevant to this application.

I live in a country which can afford to provide all basic needs for its citizens. However this generous paternalism comes at a fairly high price which is that the government is in a position to control and manipulate the population and to ignore certain matters that, in other countries, would have come to the fore and been the subject of government concern and action. One of these matters is a rigid class and tribal hierarchy which limits opportunities for some and fails to provide all with the same opportunities to achieve their educational and professional potential. It is my hope to have some positive effect in this matter in the future. I am a member of the university Feminist Society and of the Black and Minority Ethnic Society. Living as part of a minority within the UK has provided many insights into the feelings and problems faced by the minority religious and tribal groups in my own society which I intend to apply in my future work.

I am only twenty-one and so my professional experience is necessarily limited. However, I have some experience of work and volunteer effort. I was a carer for my mother from the age of 16 which gave me early experience of the provision of healthcare services in Kuwait. I have worked as a Consultant Intern, analysing information for UN High Commission for Refugees. I have also interned at specialist marketing companies because of my study of Research Analysis and this experience has provided useful insights into the ways in which attitudes and perceptions can be formed and changed, which is highly relevant to my long term aims. I also worked as a volunteer for ChildReach International working to increase donations including giving presentations to potential donors.

I am a member of the University’s Debating Society. I enjoy researching subjects that might be totally new to me and then marshalling and presenting clear and persuasive arguments for my case. Debates are an excellent means of honing communication skills and of seeing the different ways in which a case can be effectively presented. The skills acquired will be directly applicable to participation in meetings and in making presentations in my future career

I am very aware that the wish to affect policy calls not only for technical knowledge but is directly related to the ability to create and maintain positive relationships with colleagues, policymakers and others. I have happily studied, worked and socialized with people of different ethnic and social backgrounds. I enjoy sharing information about my own culture and learning about others. In addition to my experience of studying in the UK, I have visited the United States in an educational exchange when in High School. I am regarded as an excellent team member. I work well with others and am as prepared to listen as to speak but am always ready to strongly but diplomatically defend my position.

To summarise:  I am academically able and with a high degree of intellectual curiosity and analytical skill; I have a highly relevant academic and work background (although admittedly limited); I possess the personal characteristics of empathy, amiability, a readiness to co-operate to achieve common goals and diligence that I am convinced will enable me to excel within the program and in a career beyond. I look forward to sharing the fruits of my own experience and to benefitting from those of a prestigious faculty and my fellow students.

Thank you for considering my application.

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