The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has announced the appointment of Diana Cusumano, Assistant Dean Academic Services and Director of the Counseling Center at The College of Westchester to the board of directors for NAMI Westchester. “I feel elated and honored to be a part of the board of directors for NAMI Westchester. They help to educate the communities about mental illness as well as help to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness,” said Diana who will serve for the following three years. “This is important for me not only in my role at the college, and as a therapist with a private practice, but personally as I have loved ones that suffer from mental illness as well,” added Diana.
NAMI offers an array of support and education programs at no cost for individuals and families. These programs are set up through local NAMI organizations, with different programs varying in their targeted audience. “I would like to see NAMI and CW work hand in hand to help promote mental health awareness and wellness. I see many opportunities for NAMI to host events here as well as for CW to help NAMI in fundraising efforts,” said Diana. One of these programs is called In Our Own Voices, where individuals living with mental illness speak to a variety of community groups about their own personal journeys. CW hosted this program recently and during the presentation two speakers shared their personal experiences with Mental Illness. Through the presentation, the CW community gained a deeper understanding of what it’s like to have a mental illness, and had a chance to see the person, not the illness. In Our Own Voices is focused on spreading the message of recovery by living example. It provides hope and opportunity to both the audience and the presenters.