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Author Topic: Health Concerns in Application  (Read 4989 times)

Offline Bode

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Health Concerns in Application
« on: June 04, 2015, 04:22:50 AM »
Hi, I am an Elementary Education major and english minor in college and I am seriously considering applying for peace corps during my senior year.My main concern, however, is my past history.

My freshman year of college there was one incident that could raise many red flags. One night I was drinking with some friends and returned to my house (I live in a sorority) and my advisor was present. I was supposedly saying suicidal things and so, as a nurse at the local hospital, she took me in.

Now, I'm sure in the hospital records it lists both alcohol abuse and suicidal tendencies, both of which are Peace Corp concerns. Police were also called (small town probs) and I was going to be given a MIC but the prosecutor changed it to a disturbing the Peace misdemeanor and sent me on my way with a small fine. Because my university heard of the hospital thing, however, I was required to attend 3 mandatory counseling sessions with a school counselor. She evaluated me and not depressed or suicidal, but told me this would still go on my medical record.

So, essentially, one night's mistake has turned into a long nightmare for me and I'm wondering if I have a chance at being accepted into the Peace Corp. I do have a lot of volunteer service, and have done several mission trips. Has anyone else had any problems like this and were you accepted?

Thank you!

Offline koji

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Re: Health Concerns in Application
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2015, 08:29:51 AM »
I was admitted to a hospital for a suicide attempt when I was 20. It was a one-time thing, drinking a bottle of rum and a bottle of aspirin.

I was accepted into the Peace Corps when I was 27 and successfully served 2 years in Bulgaria.

Generally, they look for a large gap of time after your event that shows you are stable and productive. Since I had never received counseling after the event, I had to go to a psychiatrist who filled out a medical evaluation saying I could handle the stress of Peace Corps. I also had to write an essay outlining my coping mechanisms and showing that I understood the potential stress related to living abroad and volunteering.

The medical part is definitely possible, and if you do not get in immediately after college, I would try again in a few years.

The legal part might be more difficult, but someone with experience would have to chime in.

Offline balkandina

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Re: Health Concerns in Application
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2015, 07:36:43 PM »
If I remember correctly the medical forms only ask for the last two years history once you are accepted. I am not sure why they would want the hospital records from before then?

Offline koji

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Re: Health Concerns in Application
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2015, 01:52:29 AM »
Hmmm--- I vaguely remember the health questionnaire asking about different time frames for different health concerns... and suicide/psychological issues was a "have you experienced it in the past ten years?"

But that was almost 6 years ago, so it could have changed or I could be remembering wrong. 

Offline jessi22

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Re: Health Concerns in Application
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2015, 07:41:27 AM »
I filled out the health history form 3 weeks ago and the mental health section wants anything from the past 3 years.

Offline Bode

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Re: Health Concerns in Application
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2015, 04:31:56 PM »
So if this happened April of freshman year, I would have to wait till April of senior year to apply, right? Or would it be the year after? (Assuming I don't want to disclose that history)

Either way, thanks so much for the answers!  :D

Offline devourtheway

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Re: Health Concerns in Application
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2015, 08:11:29 PM »
Suicide attempts are a "have you had this in your lifetime?" question. I had to answer yes; I had an attempt when I was…15, I think? However, I'm now 31, and was last treated for a psych issue (dysthymia) in 2008. I've been invited to serve in the Kyrgyz Republic. One of the medical clearance tasks I must complete is a personal statement about my MH history. I'm not too concerned about it—I really think my history has made me less vulnerable, not more—but if I learn anything useful along the process, I can let you know.

It may be as simple as showing that you understand what led to the incident in question and can watch out for yourself going forward, but time elapsed will almost certainly help.