NAMI on Campus UCMerced

Jonathan Vickrey – President; Arrash Abri – Vice President

P O Box 2087

Contact Phone Number: 209-381-6844

Contact Emai: l jvickrey@ucmerced.edu

In 2010, students founded NAMI on Campus Merced, a NAMI (or National Alliance on Mental Illness) affiliated organization aiming to provide mental health support, education, and advocacy to the students and surrounding community of UC Merced.

The onset of mental illness poses a significant risk to college students, who occupy the age group most at risk for the development of psychiatric symptoms.

Approximately one-half of those with a mental illness will begin experiencing symptoms by their mid-teens, and three-fourths of mental illnesses will present by the mid-twenties.

However, given adequate support and appropriate policies, students with a mental illness do not have to abandon their educational goals. NAMI on Campus Merced intends to support students at UC Merced by providing advocacy and assistance. Transitioning to college is a stressful time for all students, let alone those dealing with a mental illness.

NAMI on Campus Merced can assist these students and their families in ways ranging from registering from Disability Services to providing peer support. Getting prompt treatment and support is key in reducing the burden psychiatric conditions place on the lives of students, and NAMI on Campus Merced can help in many ways.

NAMI on Campus Merced will also be hosting NAMI Peer-to-Peer, and education course for people with a mental illness, open to community members and students alike. .

Peer-to-Peer consists of ten two-hour units and is taught by a team of two trained “Mentors” and a volunteer support person, all of whom are personally experienced at living well with a mental illness.

Participants come away from the course with a binder of hand-out materials, as well as many other tangible resources: an advance directive; a “relapse prevention plan” to help identify telltale feelings, thoughts, behavior, or events that may warn of impending relapse and to organize for intervention; mindfulness exercises to help focus and calm thinking; and survival skills for working with providers and the general public.

Sponsored by NAMI Merced County, local affiliate of the national parent organization; NAMI on Campus Merced is a registered club with the Office of Student Life at UC Merced, which intends to improve services and raise campus awareness at the University and in the community through its partnership with Counseling and Psychological Services, Disability Services and the Department of Student Affairs at UC Merced.