Sandy Chen is one of NAMI MC’s “Ending the Silence” presenters and has done great work combating mental illness stigma throughout local middle and high schools. Thank you for all you do Sandy!
What motivated you to start volunteering at NAMI MC?
When I was going through some pretty dark times, I felt as if I didn’t have anyone to talk to or understand. I wanted to volunteer and share my story so others out there know that they are not alone and that it’s okay to talk about what they’re going through.
How long have you volunteered with NAMI MC?
I’ve volunteered for NAMI for about 2 years now.
What’s your favorite part about volunteering with NAMI MC?
My favorite part about volunteering for NAMI is walking away with the hope that I may have helped someone see mental illnesses in a new light, or helped someone help a friend or even themselves.
How has volunteering at NAMI MC impacted your life?
Volunteering for NAMI has helped me accept my mental illness in ways I never thought was possible. Presenting at schools has made me a more confident and understanding person, and I’ve become more open about sharing my story.
Do you have any advice or insight for those interested in volunteering with NAMI MC?
When I first started volunteering, I was really nervous about sharing my story. I still get nervous, but for those who are interested in volunteering, I definitely think that the benefits outweigh the consequences. The possibility of changing someone’s life or inspiring someone or helping to erase the stigma is worth the stage fright. If anyone is interested in volunteering, set aside your fears and just do it!
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I hope to be a writer someday, but for now I am currently a bartender and I love my job.
When you’re not volunteering, what do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy going on hikes or hanging out with friends. I love traveling and going to concerts and trying new foods as well.