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National Alliance on Mental Illness on FSU’s Campus

 

Why is it common to hear people say they’ve caught the flu, but when anyone mentions being depressed, bipola, or anxious, people look at them like they grew an extra head.  The topic of mental illness tends to make people uncomfortable.   

Part of the reason for this discomfort is due to the lack of information and knowledge about these disorders.

Not being knowledgeable about the reality of these disorders is a dangerous and harmful thing. This is because it encourages people to make assumptions based on rumors or media portrayals. These beliefs are then heard so often that they are often mistaken for the truth.

Actually, mental illnesses are more common than people think. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in 2012, one in four adults was impacted by a mental illness at some point in their life.  

Mental Disorders and College Students

The NIMH article “The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America,” specifically addresses the mental issues among college students, stating that 73% of students with a mental disorder have experienced a mental breakdown during their time in school.  Even more shocking, 45% of students who did not complete college left due to mental health reasons; not surprising, they did not seek help while on campus.

During such a critical point in our lives, stress can become really overwhelming. At some points, it can become difficult trying to balance academics, family, a significant other, extracurricular activities, and work.

The Important Thing to Remember: If it is difficult for you to cope with strenuous situations, it is okay; there is a solution to everything.

The Solution

Approximately a year ago, Deidre Krzanowski, Emely Toro, Dominic Sera, and I came together to form a new organization called NAMI on Campus, or National Alliance on Mental Illness [On Campus]. We were united by our passion and desire to support students, families, and friends living with mental health conditions, despite the fact that we were students with majors in International Affairs, Business, and Biology.  

NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, and is devoted to help Americans handle their mental health issues every day NAMI on Campus FSU is the university branch of the national organization.

The Motto“Educate, Advocate, and Support.”

We want to shed light on the many existing mental health conditions in order to educate students who may not be exposed to this information otherwise. Our goal will be achieved by bringing speakers and researchers who can provide current information about certain disorders. We also seek to reach out to students who are looking for a student support system.  Being able to learn and grow from other’s experiences is a priceless experience. Finally taking advantage that we live in capital of Florida, advocating and lobbying at the Capitol on improving health regulations and eliminating negative stigmas is another important pillar of NAMI’s goals.

Nami on Campus launched this spring, but is going to take full flight Fall of 2013. For more information or ways to get involved, check us out on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NAMIFSU/

“The mind has exactly the same power as the hands: not merely to grasp the world, but to change it.”
– Colin Wilson

 

 Sources:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/the-numbers-count-mental-disorders-in-america/index.shtml

http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Find_Support/NAMI_on_Campus1/Learn_About_The_Issue/Learn_About_The_Issue.htm

http://thecreativepanic.com/2011/06/16/brains-are-cool-148/

Maria Losada is a senior at Florida State University pursuing a double major in International Affairs and Editing, Writing and Media. She is driven by her passion for writing and seeks to inspire others through it.  She loves learning about different cultures, languages, and especially enjoys tasting international cuisines!  On her down time you can catch her dancing salsa, reading articles from Her Campus FSU, or daydreaming about her next travel destination. She hopes to live in Washington D.C.  and work for an international development agency."Little by little, one travels far."
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