This week with interviewed Tatyana Bidopia, current president of Duke’s Chapter of  the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

Q: What is your position with NAMI, and how did you get involved with it? I am the current President of NAMI. I got involved after seeing a post on the Duke Class of 2019 page when one of the chapter’s founders wrote a personal story about their struggle with mental health issues. I was immediately inspired by this because of my passion for mental health advocacy and thought it would be a wonderful organization to join. Since the first interest meeting, I have always regarded NAMI as one of my most prized Duke experiences.

Q: What has been your favorite experience with your organization?
My favorite experience is getting to work with amazing people who are equally passionate about de-stigmatizing mental illness on campus. They are extremely dedicated individuals who help put on our awareness events each semester and are always there to support me and each other. I love their enthusiasm during our events and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure that each event is successful.

Q: How do you think the events that you host effect students at Duke and those who participate?
I think that our events bring to light a topic that is often shoved under the rug by Duke students. Our events allow them to speak freely and non-judgmentally about their experiences and serve as a reminder that they are not alone. We also hope that our events encourage students to seek help for the issues that they are struggling with, whether it be through CAPS, Peer for You, or even joining NAMI to speak to fellow peers who might be dealing with similar situations.

They could email me at tb168@duke.edu to be added to our listserv if they would want to receive weekly email updates about any events happening on campus. They could also attend one of our weekly GBMs which occur every Tuesday night at 8:30 PM in Social Sciences 119! Our Facebook page is also a way to keep track of anything from events to mental health-related articles that we share.