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Mental Health Discussion
February 7, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 7:45 pm
We recently invited representatives from the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) to speak to the entire New West faculty. NAMI's main message is the need to destigmatize everything from lifelong conditions like autism and bipolar disorder to temporary struggles with anxiety and stress. They recommend being as open, honest, and age-appropriate as possible with friends and loved ones about the prevalence of mental health needs.
According to NAMI, we need to start thinking about mental health the same as we do physical health. We don't shy away from saying someone is blind, deaf, or uses a wheelchair, so why should we speak of someone wrestling with depression or dementia in hushed tones? The argument is that the more we normalize the behavior by recognizing how common these challenges are, the better we'll be able to understand and meet the needs of our loved ones.
We've invited presenters from NAMI to return to campus to speak with parents, and then again to our students in the weeks to come, starting with our juniors the following morning.