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viewpoint

Irish Peace of MiND week

| Monday, April 11, 2016

Through our work with NAMI-ND, Notre Dame’s chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, we have each had the privilege to hear the stories of members of the Notre Dame community and to engage in conversation about the important issues of mental illness, mental health and mental wellbeing. We have heard inspiring stories of hope and resilience. We have also heard stories of frustration and pain. We know many members of this community feel as though they are the “only one” — the only one struggling with anxiety or depression, the only one feeling inadequate, the only one afraid. We know many members of this community feel pressure — pressure to be perfect, pressure to be (over)involved, pressure to succeed, or at least not to fail, pressure to “have it all together.”

The Notre Dame community unites during the first full week of October each year to recognize Irish State of MiND: Mental Illness Awareness Week. Irish State of MiND, organized by NAMI-ND, seeks to illuminate the mind by raising awareness and reducing the stigma of mental illness. This week, NAMI-ND will hold the first annual Irish Peace of MiND: Mental Well-Being Awareness Week. This counterpart week seeks to rejuvenate the mind through events and conversations focused on mental health, defined by the World Health Organization as “a state of wellbeing in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

Throughout Irish Peace of MiND, we encourage you to be open to the possibility of growth, hope, and peace. Ask your friends how they are feeling, and when they ask you the same in return, respond honestly. Consider the notion that everyone has mental health, and that there is more to life than simply “surviving.” Take a break from your busy schedule and actually take a break. Engage in dialogue about issues related to mental health. Learn about and then utilize the amazing health and wellbeing resources available at Notre Dame. And remember – we are meant to do more than simply survive.

We are meant to flourish.

We encourage you to like “Irish Peace of MiND” on Facebook to view our schedule of events and obtain the most updated information about the week.

 

Maggie Skoch

NAMI-ND President 2014-2015

Lily Falzon

NAMI-ND Co-Vice President 2016-2017

Ally Zimmer

NAMI-ND President 2016-2017

Jenna Wertsching

NAMI-ND Secretary 2016-2017

Laura LeBrun

NAMI-ND Treasurer 2015-2016

Julia Kim

NAMI-ND Vice President 2015-2016

Taylor Seeman

NAMI-ND Secretary 2015-2016

Shannon Hennessey

NAMI-ND Webmaster 2015-2016

Trinh Nguyen

NAMI-ND President Spring 2016

April 1o

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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