Penn State Senior To Launch Non-Profit Organization For Students With Schizophrenia


Penn State University senior Cecilia McGough shared what it was like living with schizophrenia earlier this year. It was not just with a friend or two, she spoke in front of a full auditorium.

The Daily Collegian reported that McGough is a Schreyer Honors College senior majoring in astronomy and astrophysics. She believes that the mental illness is not discussed enough.

"On college campuses when people talk about mental health, it's usually about anxiety, depression and stress," she said. "While those are very important to talk about, other mental illnesses like schizophrenia get shied away from because they make people feel uncomfortable."

Her talk was entitled "I Am Not A Monster: Schizophrenia." There, she taught fellow students about the different aspects of her mental illness that others may have never known before. She explained that schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects the whole being of an individual and can cause a difference in how a person thinks, feels as well as behaves.

McGough also shot down some common stereotypes. She shared personal stories and how she copes through spending time with her friends and listening to P!nk, her favorite singer.

It was nerve-wracking for McGough who has never spoken in front of a large crowd before that talk. However, she overcame her anxiety because she wanted people to understand schizophrenia.

McGough initially came up with the idea to set up a club in order to talk about schizophrenia. However, she realized that, for the cause to gain more awareness outside of Penn State, it would need to be something bigger than a club.

The Penn State senior will be launching her own non-profit organization named Students With Schizophrenia at the end of the semester. Its mission is to empower students who suffer from the mental illness by educating and spreading awareness about it on college campuses. The organization will be offering services such as financial aid, academic assistance, mental health support as well as care resource direction.

The non-profit organization is a great way to bring awareness to college campuses. There have been a lot of issues on trigger warnings and what schools should do to help its students.

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