Last weekend members of Crean College’s Phi chapter of Delta Kappa, the National Honor Society for Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), participated in the National Alliance on Mental Illness NAMI-OC 5K charity walk. Held at Angel Stadium the walk raises funds for and public awareness of NAMI-OC and the field of mental health. NAMI-OC is a grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. The event was a fantastic success. The team raised over $4,500 and had 50 people come out to participate! The team was also recognized for raising the third highest donations received in Orange County. The walk also gave students an opportunity to meet and network with many other organizations and individuals who are working to support mental health.
Lauren Leon, MFT Trainee and Co-Captain of the team (with Alexxis Nankervis) said, “Personally, as a future therapist, it is crucial to me to create more of a conversation around mental health, as this is the path to normalizing and de-stigmatizing mental health difficulties. I think it’s also a critical component to improving our society as a whole. It’s a wonderful way for the community to show up and come together in support of this great cause.”
Funds were raised through the generous support of friends and loved ones who pledged money to participating team members. Though the Phi Chapter was responsible for organizing Chapman University’s participation in the walk, all Chapman MFT students were invited to raise money and join. Heather Villasenor, MFT Trainee & Phi Chapter President, added, “For me, participating in the NAMI Walks OC 2022 felt like a big, fun step towards normalcy! I enjoy participating in volunteer and give-back opportunities, especially if I can support the mission of mental health and wellness for all. I was surprised and proud of how many donations our team received. The turnout for the event was awesome! Another thing I really enjoyed about the walk was the chance to familiarize myself with more local mental health programs and support systems in place in our community. These can act as referral sources for clients or potential job placements for our Delta Kappa members after graduation.”
In addition to the NAMI-OC Walk, Delta Kappa is championing another local cause by hosting a Decorate & Donate event in Crean Hall Room 132a on Wednesday December 7th and Thursday December 8th from 3:00pm – 7:00pm. The drive will benefit Casa Teresa, a local residential support program for expectant mothers who are homeless or otherwise in crisis. They are requesting unwrapped toys, gift cards (any amount), art supplies, home and self-care items that an expecting mom or infant child might need. Cookie decorating will be provided.
Chapman University’s MFT program is one of only two MFT programs in California with a Chapter in Delta Kappa, the International Marriage and Family Therapy Honor Society. The Phi chapter of Delta Kappa at Chapman University is committed to training emerging leaders in the field of MFT. For more info follow @chapmanmft_dk on Instagram for all updates and events.