Lorman, Miss. (October 18, 2013) - The Alcorn State University Counseling and Testing Center recognized Mental Illness Awareness Week held October 6-12, 2013. A week of activities was planned for the University community aimed at promoting understanding of mental illness and removing the stigma associated with it.
One of the key events of the week was “Bridging the Gap on Mental Illness” held October 9, when two groups of participants built a living bridge chanting “we support mental illness, remove the stigma”. Over 60 enthusiastic students, faculty and staff took part in the creation of this symbolic bridge in front of the J.D. Boyd Library sharing the information on mental illnesses and their implications with the Alcorn family.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.
“I came to support this event because my little brother has a mental illness,” shared Jameel Mohammad, a sophomore majoring in agribusiness. “I see how people look at him and don’t know how to deal with him, so it’s important to get involved and share information on mental illnesses to change society’s perception.”
Arthaya Richardson, a senior, social work major, stated, “It was important for me to participate in Mental Illness Awareness Week because I am majoring in social work and also, I recently started an organization ‘Active Minds’ that works on mental health awareness and suicide prevention.”
Mrs. Dyann Moses, director of Counseling and Testing urges everyone to get involved and bridge the gap on mental illness. She says, “It is extremely important that we get the message out that mental illness is an illness just like any other, and we should remove the stigma associated with any mental disorder. Help is available.”
For more information, contact Counseling and Testing at 601.877.6230.
Alcorn State University is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships that benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation, and world.