The National Alliance for Mental Illness may soon find another home on campus

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Katie Sullivan, senior in social sciences, aims to bring a National Alliance for Mental Illness chapter to Kansas State. (Katelin Woods | Collegian Media Group)

Kansas State students may soon see a new mental health organization on campus. Katie Sullivan, senior in social sciences, is trying to bring a National Alliance for Mental Illness chapter to campus.

NAMI is an organization focused on support, advocacy to end the stigma surrounding mental illness and education about warning signs and things people can do to make themselves feel better.

Sullivan said she was inspired to work towards bringing a chapter to campus after noticing the need for it in her peers.

“After talking to people in the community, I realized there’s more [of] a need than I anticipated, and I think it would bring a lot of good to the K-State community,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan said she wanted to promote a culture of understanding.

“The majority of mental illnesses will show themselves in a person before they turn 24,” she said. “Eighteen to 24 is a really formative time for mental health, so seeing my friends struggle with these things — battling anxiety, battling depression — my goal is to make sure everyone here knows they’re not alone.”

Sullivan said she thinks the presence of a NAMI chapter on campus can help students realize that there is a place to go if they need support.

“I know there’s other organizations on campus that focus on mental wellness, but I think the resources that NAMI can bring to campus can bring an incredible amount of good, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting more resources for student wellness,” she said.

Sullivan’s own personal journey with mental health began in her freshman year of college, which motivated her to help others on campus who are struggling.

“I know this is a struggle that a lot of people face, and I know it’s not just me,” Sullivan said. “I want people to know they’re not alone. A core belief in NAMI is that you are not alone and they want people to know that.”

Sullivan said she hopes the meetings will have good turnouts and wants those who are currently struggling with mental wellness on campus to know they are not alone and that it does get better.

For more information on NAMI and getting involved, visit their website.

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