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20130826_GrovesMarshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine is now home to a National Alliance on Mental Illness campus chapter and according to organizers is the first collegiate chapter in West Virginia.

One of the charter members, third-year medical student Kelly Ann Groves, said the move to establish a chapter at Marshall has been months in the making.

“The state of West Virginia doesn’t have a functioning state affiliate, so creating a collegiate chapter was quite the challenge,” she said. “NAMI’s big goal is to eliminate the stigma of mental illness and to make it evident that no one is alone in their illness and we are proud to help make a difference.”

Groves went on to say that meetings will begin in September and plans are being made to implement new programs and opportunities on both the medical school and undergraduate campuses.

“We hope to start awareness programs, peer-to-peer counseling, promote early detection, advocate for improved mental health services on campus and hopefully decrease the amount of negativity and judgment aimed at those with mental illness.”

Groves said her interest in starting a NAMI chapter grew after a family member was diagnosed with a mental illness.

Groves credits Dr. Tracy LeGrow, professor in the department of psychiatry and associate dean of academic affairs and fourth-year medical student Corey Keeton with helping establish the chapter.

Date Posted: Monday, August 26, 2013