NAMI Talks to Raise Awareness on Mental Illness

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan University’s NAMI on Campus RSO will host the second annual NAMI Talks at on Wednesday, April 11 4 p.m. in the Hansen Student Center (300 E Beecher St, Bloomington). The event is free and open to the public.

“NAMI Talks is a great opportunity to join the conversation about mental health and learn to be an advocate for social justice,” said psychology major and President of NAMI on Campus Kathleen O’Shea ’18. “No one should have to suffer alone, so it's important we all stand together and work to end the stigma surrounding mental illness.”

NAMI Talks is a TED Talks-style event during which professors, staff, students and outside experts in the Bloomington-Normal community will present on a range of topics concerning mental illness, including grief, trauma and self-esteem. Presenters from IWU will include: Counseling and Consultation Services (CCS) counselor Christina Armstrong, Ben and Susan Rhodes Professor of Peace and Social Justice Irv Epstein, Assistant Professor of the School of Nursing Amy Funk, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology Robert Lusk, and psychology major Jacki Schirmacher ’18 and nursing major David Yoon ’18.

In addition to students and faculty, a representative from Stepping Stones, the YWCA’s sexual assault program in McLean County, will present on sexual abuse and ways for survivors to seek help. Stepping Stones provides free, confidential, 24-hour assistance for victims and their families, as well as long-term services to empower survivors and educate the community about sexual assault, dating violence and rape culture.

NAMI on Campus is part of a nationwide organization that furthers the mission of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to destigmatize mental disorders on college campuses. IWU students in NAMI on Campus work to spread the facts about mental illness to the campus community and support students who are directly or indirectly impacted by mental illness.

By Rachel McCarthy ’21