Meet the 2017 NAMI Directive!

According to the NAMI website, "NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness".

Here at la IUPI, we have our very own chapter. Read below to meet the 2017-2018 NAMI Directive.

 

President Mariela Díaz Santiago is 22 years-old. She’s a fifth-year student who is majoring in Cellular Molecular Biology. She’s been a member of NAMI for the past 2 years.

What motivated you to join NAMI?

I noticed that many loved ones close to me experienced mental illness, and I felt that like I had to educate myself on the subject of mental health. Educating myself does not only help to find proper ways to offer them my help, and to support them through their struggles but also to take care of my own emotional health through the multiple de-stress activities the organization offered.

Why do you think NAMI is important?

It promotes the conversation about mental health that would consequently eliminate the taboo surrounding mental health and inspire others to get the proper care if they need it.

What does NAMI mean to you?

The epitome of inclusion.

 

Vice-President Angelica M. Machado Vasquez is 22 years-old. She’s a fifth year studying Psychology. She’s been a member of NAMI for 2 years.

What motivated you to join NAMI?

What motivated me to join NAMI is how diverse it is and the goals this organization has, especially #StigmaFree. I'm a firm believer that everybody should be treated with equity and NAMI provides that by bringing awareness to different types of mental illnesses

Why do you think NAMI is important?

I think NAMI is important because it creates a safe space for the students that may have mental illness and it also reinforces the elimination of the stigma that surrounds having a mental illness.

What does NAMI mean to you?

To me, NAMI means change for the better. The fact that we can help people understand the importance of mental health and that we can be a voice for people that have any type of mental illness is truly amazing.

 

Secretary Veronica Gutierrez del Arroyo Lebron is 21 years-old. She’s a fifth-year student who’s studying Biology. She’s been a member of NAMI for the past year.

What motivated you to join NAMI?

My interest in mental health, wanting to meet new people, and also for the great activities they provide!

Why do you think NAMI is important?

NAMI is a stigma-free space for people to be themselves and to talk about the very important issue that is mental health.

What does NAMI mean to you?

Personally, it means family and a place to relax. As part of the directive, it means an opportunity to reach others.

 

Treasurer Sarielys de Jesús Álvarez is 21 years-old. She’s a fourth-year student who’s studying Cellular Molecular Biology. She’s been a member of NAMI since 2015.

What motivated you to join NAMI?

As a student interested in psychiatry, NAMI's mission of raising awareness about mental health illnesses attracted me and motivated me to join. I thought it was a good opportunity to meet new people who have the same interest as me to contribute to have a better-educated society about mental disorders and more aware about the importance of taking care of their mental health.

Why do you think NAMI is important?

The importance of NAMI lies in its #StigmaFree campaign. This campaign focuses on educating people to see others as more than their diagnosis and to take the mark of the stigma away from what are very common disorders. We must talk and share information to dispel the many stereotypes we see regarding mental health issues. The perception of mental illness will not change if we do not act to change it.

What does NAMI mean to you?

For me, NAMI means hope, because I see a large number of students who are interested in fighting the stigma of mental illness. This means that we are contributing to having a more empathic society which makes me feel proud of our members.  

 

Activities Coordinator Coralys Del Mar is a junior who’s studying Psychology. She’s been a member of NAMI for half a year.

What motivated you to join NAMI?

The need to promote mental health and eliminate the stigma that society has created.

Why do you think NAMI is important?

NAMI is important because it provides a safe space for people who don't feel confident sharing that they have mental illness with others because of the stigma that comes with it. In NAMI we can all interact with each other without the need to judge. "La IUPI" needs more safe spaces like this that at the same time create awareness.

What does NAMI mean to you?

NAMI has given me the opportunity to meet new people and to create activities that can help de-stress the students on campus without feeling the need to hide their true selves from other people.

 

Activities Official Jose Antonio Espinal is 21 years old. He’s studying Biology and has been a member of NAMI for a year.

What motivated you to join NAMI?

To promote the importance of one's mental health and that of others

Why do you think NAMI is important?

We form a community that is driven to giving support to those who need it.

What does NAMI mean to you?

A step in the right direction.

 

Publicist and Student Representative Ricardo J. Capeles is a fourth year who’s studying Biology. He’s been a member of NAMI for two and a half years.

What motivated you to join NAMI?

The desire to improve myself both intellectually and emotionally, all while acquiring the tools to help others, specifically my godson who has had issues with his mental health.

Why do you think NAMI is important?

NAMI is important because it proves that physical health alone means nothing if it's not accompanied by a healthy mental state. In a world where we are always busy or rushing to meet a deadline, it is important to have organizations and places that provide a safe place to learn about, offer services, promote awareness for mental health.

What does NAMI mean to you?

It means taking a step into a healthier relationship with my godson, taking time from my busy life to take care of myself and my health (physical/emotional), but mostly, it means hope. Hope that we can make our country a better place one person at a time.

 

Public Relations Director Alana M. Díaz Santiago is a 20-year-old who’s currently in her third year. She majors in Information and Journalism and has been a member of NAMI for a year.

What motivated you to join NAMI?

I initially joined the organization because, as someone who experiences mental illness first hand, I wanted to join a community that would help me to not only learn about local mental health resources that could help me manage my symptoms but also allow me to educate others on the importance of mental health awareness.

Why do you think NAMI is important?

I believe NAMI is important because mental illness is very common (1 in 5 people will experience mental illness in their lifetime), so it is extremely vital to initiate the conversation about mental health. This way, we can not only eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness but also educate others on local mental health resources so that they can receive help and support without being afraid to speak out about it.  

What does NAMI mean to you?

NAMI means a community of people who, through education and advocation, are passionately working to end the stigma around mental illness and create hope for those affected by it.  

 

Vocal Marimer N. Colón Alicea is a 20-year-old who’s currently in her third year. She majors in Psychology. She has been a member of NAMI for a year.

What motivated you to join NAMI?

Help raise awareness about the importance of mental health.

Why do you think NAMI is important?

Because we are a group that pledges to destigmatize mental illnesses and provides a space to release our stress and anxiety by engaging in activities with others.

What does NAMI mean to you?

For me, the mental health of people is important and I believe that the best way to guide them is to educate others about it.

 

Here at HerCampus at UPR we hope you'll join the #StigmaFree campaign!