The new NAMI club is changing the way students look at mental health and bringing awareness to the mission of NAMI. For those who don’t know, NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness and is able to help individuals and families affected by mental health conditions to build better lives through education, support, advocacy and by raising public awareness. According to NAMI.org, “NAMI provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives.”
Nick Nosal and Esha Malik, both SSU seniors majoring in Psychology are co-presidents of the SSU NAMI club chapter. Nick Nosal said he originally got the idea to start the club from one of his professors, Dr. Glenn Brassington, a psychology professor on campus. Nick mentioned that the NAMI association sponsors clubs to start chapters on campus, and that he and Esha have a goal to have a resource center for students and to use their experience to help those who are looking at graduate school and psychology.
Esha who had visited the NAMI Center of Sonoma County earlier that week mentioned, “I think it's really cool that they actually go out of their way in destigmatizing mental health. NAMI brings awareness to mental health at a national level where policymakers can actually make a change.” Getting the word out about mental health challenges and normalizing conversations around mental health is vitally important both at the regional and national level. Esha reinforced this important message, stating, “the goal [of NAMI] is to destigmatize mental health and create an environment where peers and students can feel safe enough to talk about it.”
Are you interested in getting involved with NAMI? The quickest way is to email Nami4ssu@gmail.com. From there, you will be connected with resources and group messaging. NAMI Sonoma County is an approved community partner in SSUEngage, meaning that students can have internships and service-learning opportunities with this organization. If you would like to learn more about NAMI Sonoma County and what they have to offer, check out their website.