- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Members of a new student organization at an Omaha college are encouraging other students to join in their fight to destigmatize mental illness and help those suffering with the disorders.

Last year, the National Alliance on Mental Illness chapter launched at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Now the four students on the chapter’s board have been working to grow its membership with publicity, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1JJkjoL ) reported.

Two of the group’s student leaders, Amy Weaver and Jennifer Alquicira, and its adviser, Cheryl Campbell, participated in a student activity fair last week in an effort to recruit students.

“I have dealt with depression and anxiety. I work on it on my own, and with my family,” said Alquicira, a junior majoring in public health, who serves as the chapter’s vice president. “I want to tell people that have dealt with this that you have support here.”

The chapter offers an outlet for students seeking support or counseling. Campbell is a licensed mental health practitioner, so she’s able to assist students belonging to the chapter who feel the need to talk to someone but don’t want to use the school’s counseling center, where she works.

“There are no limits to recovery,” Campbell said. “Whatever you’re working on, we can always improve on it daily.”

The group also holds events to increase awareness about mental illness.

Weaver, who serves as the treasurer, hopes the chapter’s efforts ultimately will improve the campus atmosphere for students who aren’t as willing to share their struggles with mental illness.

National Alliance on Mental Illness has chapters on 105 college campuses nationwide. The University of Nebraska at Omaha chapter is the first one in the state.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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