Health & Wellness

USU Club Seeks to Raise Awareness About Mental Illness

The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman for inclusion in Utah State Today.

By Ayanna LikensUSU Statesman, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 

With mental health as a rising crisis, Utah State University student Bremen Accord decided he wanted to do something about it.

In March of 2017, Accord created a USU club called NAMI, which stands for National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Accord said he started the club to provide an additional resource for students who might have some experience with mental illness to receive help and support from their peers, as well as an opportunity for involvement on campus to help advocate, educate and help the student body.

A few years ago, NAMI had a small presence on campus, lack enough interest and membership.

“One of my biggest goals from the start was to get some support groups going on campus,” he said.

NAMI has four members that have received professional training in Salt Lake City and are now beginning regular support groups that will meet every Friday for the rest of the semester.

International student Mahdi Talaki said he is thankful there are clubs like this offered here.

“Moving to a new country was one of biggest challenges of my life and it really took a toll on my mental health,” Talaki said, “but it is nice to know that there is someone there if I need some help.”

The club is growing rapidly and 400 people have signed up to become members. With that large of a team, Accord said they have been able to accomplish a lot within the short amount of time the club has been around.

NAMI has planned a stigma-free campaign, mental health week, stress reduction week, suicide awareness week and is holding a charity event next month.

The event will be held on Feb. 9 with a formal dance at the Lundstrom Student Center. Admission is $10 with all proceeds going to support mental health at Utah State and in the community. 

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