A video call to break down stigmas about mental illness. A Zoom session in which there is a no-judgment zone to talk about life. A space for advocating for mental health in the society that we live in. Where could you dream that this would be?
This is an average meeting for NAMI, also known as National Alliance on Mental Illness. Some people may be hesitant to talk about mental health so publicly. This fall quarter, every board member is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of undergraduate students at Drexel University. This past week, I had the pleasure of talking to every single board member on Zoom and got to know the future goals for the organization and its mission statement. The NAMI organization at Drexel is unlike any other club present in the Drexel community in supporting and cherishing the life that exists around us every day!
This current fall quarter, the club was recolonized. One of the sole reasons that the club was recolonized was because of the faculty advisor, Dr. White. The board members were picked out thoughtfully and carefully so that the Drexel community could receive the best experience. In my opinion, mental health is an essential topic that should be talked about more. In the past, I have had experience with mental illness. When I heard that the club was back, I jumped at the first chance to join. Since I have joined, everyone in the club has been so accepting. All the board members are accepting and conscientious about hearing about everyone’s experiences. The social media coordinator, Graysen Montel, constantly posts statistics, small events and polls that students can look at. In the past month, their Instagram has played an integral part in breaking down stigmas and educating people on facts that may have not been known by their followers. On Oct. 14, there was a Mental Health Jeopardy. It was extremely interactive and allowed all students to learn something new or test what was already known. In the quarter, there will be one large event and two small events.
The President, Domenica Pusic, stated that “NAMI is open for anyone, at any time and it is a place to celebrate each other!” As someone who has attended the last couple of meetings, I have learned more about mental health and I have felt accepted by everyone in the club. I have never experienced such support from a Drexel organization from fellow students at Drexel. I look forward to and strive to attend every meeting because it is such a unique space for all college students. Although most of the clubs are online, like this one, the impact is just as influential as if it was on campus. NAMI is a way for people to talk about something that is not discussed as often as it should.
The organization is constantly accepting every student regardless of what major, background or connection that they may have for mental illness. There is so much room for the organization the grow, prosper and make a difference in the Philadelphia community!