Student organization to conduct survey of Iowa State students’ needs regarding mental health services

Iowa States NAMI on Campus will be surveying students on their mental health needs.

Courtesy of NAMI's student organization page

Iowa State’s NAMI on Campus will be surveying students on their mental health needs.

Zane Charter

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on Campus will be conducting a survey to learn about students’ needs related to mental health services. Natalie Sommervold, a sophomore in psychology and vice president and advocacy chair for the club, said that they would be seeking responses from the entire student body.

“We want to provide resources, destigmatize mental illness and just start the conversation on mental illness,” Sommervold said of the goals of NAMI on Campus.

The survey may ask students about their experience with the mental health services that Iowa State provides, which Sommervold said are currently in high demand.

“That’s kind of what we want to figure out with this survey… why the demand [for Student Counseling Services] has increased a lot,” she said.

However, Sommervold, who created the survey alongside NAMI on Campus President Bailey Dunkin, said that the focus of the survey would be “less about assessing Iowa State’s [mental health] services” and more on “trying to figure out what students need, in regards to services” that NAMI can provide.

NAMI on Campus holds meetings every other week and often hosts speakers on mental health topics. The group notes on its student organization page that “this organization will not function as a support group” but that it will “provide mental health resources along with educational opportunities.”

An upcoming event that NAMI on Campus will be hosting is Green Bandana Day, during which “volunteers attach a green bandana to their backpack to let others know they are a safe person to talk about mental illness,” according to NAMI Iowa.

Sommervold said the survey would probably be released sometime after Spring Break, but she could not yet give a specific date as it is awaiting approval. NAMI on Campus plans to advertise the survey through fliers and possibly by email.

“I think [this survey] helps NAMI gauge where many students are at and how we can fine-tune our own club so that we are gearing it more towards the needs of students instead of just kind of blindly deciding what we should focus on,” Sommervold said.