“I’m Possible with Joshua Rivedal” event from NAMI

Hoai Phuong Nguyen, Staff Reporter

Trigger Warning: suicide

It is normal to feel anxious or down at times, especially during such an uncertain period for our nation right now. However, during such times, people who have already suffered from mental illness can struggle even more than usual. That is what so many organizations on our campus, from student organizations to university offices, are trying to raise awareness about. One of the organizations with a mission statement of demystifying the stigmas and uncertainties around mental illness, while providing students with supporting resources, is the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI).

NAMI is a national grassroots organization that provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. NAMI has a chapter on the Case Western Reserve University campus, called NAMI on Campus, that focuses specifically on CWRU students, while also having outreach activities to other local NAMI chapters. 

This week, NAMI will have an event with an invited speaker: Joshua Rivedal, a writer from The Huffington Post. At this event, Rivedal will talk about topics such as suicide by going over his experience with losing his father, his experience with depression and suicidal ideation while in college, and how he got help. He will also talk about how people think of suicide, risk factors and signs and symptoms of suicidal thinking, and how to intervene if someone you know is experiencing suicdal thoughts. Along with such heavy topics, Rivedal will also provide resources for mental health and suicide prevention. 

Andres Gonzalez, the president of the NAMI chapter at CWRU, discussed his inspiration for creating this event, sharing, “when Joshua Rivedal emailed us, I thought that it was a great idea. I remembered attending an event hosted by the University Health and Counseling Services. This event had Kevin Hines as a speaker, and he told his story on what made him decide to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. He also has a YouTube channel in case you were interested, and that event had a ton of people come to listen.” Gonzalez explained that “this showed that people were interested to hear about suicide. Then Latavya Chintada (the vice president of NAMI on Campus) and Megha Dalal (the secretary of NAMI on Campus) expressed interest in having him come and do the presentation. Because it was an important topic that people wanted to hear, Joshua’s credentials, and that Latavya and Megha expressed interest in the event, I decided to pursue the event.”

Gonzalez encourages students to come to this event, to listen to Rivedal’s story and learn more about suicide prevention. It can be difficult to talk about suicide, especially for someone to discuss it publicly like Rivedal is doing, and by learning from his story, students can also learn about how to identify signs of suicidal ideation as well as how to intervene.

The event will be Nov. 7, from 6-7 p.m. over Zoom. The event already had 80 students registered at time of publication, and it can hopefully make a significant impact on the awareness of mental illness at CWRU. Sign up for a spot on NAMI’s CampusGroups page.