NAMI advocates mental well being

By Jesus Figueroa

 

The National Alliance of Mental Illness Club attempts to get students aware of mental wellbeing through an art contest.

“Culture and mental well being” was chosen by the majority vote of club members as the theme for the “NAMI on campus art contest.”

The contest is open to all students on campus. The top three winners will get gift cards from Michael’s. First place will get $50, second place will get $25 and third place will get $15. NAMI is sponsoring its own art contest.

The contest submissions are due Thursday, March 26 during the club’s meeting at the F7 building, room 220. They meet from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Club member Sara Chavez leads this club project with help from club President Jake Stephens.

“It (The art contest) is open to all ELAC students regardless of what their majors are.

“It’s just another way of coping. We are just here to help people and we see art as another way of coping, something to help you and it can be very therapeutic,” Chavez said.

Judging on the art will be done as a collaborative effort of the 25 members of the NAMI club.

“What we have been trying to focus on is on removing the stigma of mental illness. We call it mental wellbeing or mental health. That way people are more receptive to it,” Stephenson said.

NAMI will host a number of events in the coming months including a poetry reading and a nature hike.

All of the upcoming events put on by the club will be open to all students on campus and are centered upon helping ELAC students with mental health issues.

“Our mission really is to get people aware (of mental health). If people are unaware, they don’t have the opportunity for acceptance. Once they have acceptance, they become proactive,” Stephenson said.

Chavez said the club welcomes new members. They are hoping that through these upcoming events more ELAC students will become aware of the NAMI program.

“One of the problems here is lack of communication. Everybody is so stressed out, ‘Got my schedule, got my classes, this and that.’ They don’t take time for themselves, for healing. A lot of students do that. They spend more time on this (cellphone),” Stephens said.

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