Monologue project accepting submissionsBy Emmalee Molay | 09/16/2014 12:15am
The National Alliance on Mental Illness at The University of Alabama continues to fight the stigma against students with mental health issues on campus.
The organization has set up a new alliance group session every Thursday called NAMI connections. The meeting is for students to come and speak about the issues they might be facing.
“You can have a mental illness, even a severe mental illness, and still be a student,” said Elise Goubet, president of NAMI-UA and a senior majoring in psychology.
Goubet said even though the group has two facilitators, it is led by students so everyone is encouraged to participate and doesn’t feel left out. She said the group is not specialized and is open to everyone with any diagnosis, big or small.
“I’m really excited about it,” she said.
Vice president and graduate student Ashley Neuhauser said she thinks the group will help the student body significantly.
“Alabama is a community, and by allowing students to realize that there are people here who might have a mental illness, we are a part of this community,” she said. “We all have a burden to carry, and that is just what some people have.”
Along with the group, NAMI-UA will hold their annual Mental Health Monologues in the spring. This event gives students the opportunity to anonymously submit essays about their personal stories, and then actors perform them.
This will be NAMI-UA’s awareness chairperson and graduate student Jett Brousseau’s second year doing the event. She said she is hoping the event will continue to erase mental health stigmas.
“You shouldn’t be upset or ashamed of going to school with a mental illness,” she said. “It’s not your fault.”
Brousseau and the NAMI-UA board are currently looking for any and all submissions, actors and an artistic director to pull everything together.
NAMI-UA has monthly student body meetings, and Neuhauser said she is eager for students to get involved.
“A huge focus for us is building up our membership,” she said.