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NAMI kicks-off spring quarter

March 31, 2017

 

Bryn Young
Staff Reporter| bjy001@latech.edu

 

Louisiana Tech’s National Alliance on Mental Illnesses campus group, a national organization meant to help educate the public on and provide support to those with mental illnesses, kicked off an eventful spring quarter with a meeting March 20.

 

In the meeting, members of NAMI discussed the plans and upcoming events planned for the current quarter. They are holding multiple events during the spring quarter including a public forum on dementia and Alzheimer’s  April 3 and a visit to Pecan Villa Nursing Home April 4.

 

Rachel Eddy, NAMI president and junior biology major, said she wished to reach out to groups with mental illnesses that do not receive as much attention, which is why they are spending much of this quarter reaching out to the elderly.

 

“What NAMI has done a lot in the past is work with Methodist Children’s Home,” Eddy said. “We’ve focused a lot on children, but I was thinking maybe we should go the other direction also.” 

 

NAMI is also looking to promote and encourage student to seek treatment at the Louisiana Tech counseling center more this quarter as they working towards destigmatizing the treatment of mental illnesses.

 

“I want to get the counseling center more involved,” Eddy said. “The counseling center hosts all these groups. Almost every day of the week they have a different little support group and nobody seems to really go.”

 

The young group also looks to add members and build a more prominent name at Louisiana Tech, Eddy said.

 

“We’re very approachable people,” Eddy said. “For one, you don’t have to have a mental illness to be in NAMI. We’re not a support group; we are an advocacy and education group. We’re here for leadership; we’re here for awareness.”

 

NAMI members Lucia House, a junior electrical engineering major, and Kaelyn Nguyen, a sophomore computer sciences major, voiced the importance of education and advocacy.

 

“I think outreach is very important, but I think that education gets people to understand more about what we are talking about,” House said.

 

They also stressed the diversity of members that participate in NAMI and its openness to new members of all kinds, as well as encouraged people to join.

 

“We do a lot of service projects as well. We are not just about education, so it’s also good for engineers who need service hours,” Nguyen said. ”We have a lot of diverse people; it’s not just for psychology majors.”

 

NAMI will hold meetings every other Monday throughout the quarter in Davison room 106 and is open to anyone wishing to get involved.

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