While earning an Honours degree in Neuroscience from the University of Alberta, Aala authored a children’s book series on mental illness awareness. She also spent a great deal of time researching how those living with mental illness internalize the stigma they receive from the outside world, and how that affects their ability to seek and benefit from clinical treatment. Since graduating, Aala has worked with a student advocacy organization on a provincial strategy to improve mental health on campuses across Alberta. Through journalism, Aala hopes to deepen the discussion around mental health to reduce stigma and empower others to make their mental health a priority. She has a particular interest in the barriers surrounding access to mental health care for ethnic and religious minority groups.