The unique demands of medical school can often make us feel alienated from the rest of the world. It is important now more than ever to engage in communities where we can express our most authentic selves!

The following information is taken from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): The Importance of Community and Mental Health

Community is all about connection. Community is not just an entity or a group of people, it’s a feeling. It’s feeling connected to others, feeling accepted for who you are and feeling supported. Having connection can help us feel wanted and loved.

We at IcahnBeWell use this ethos to guide the events we create for students as we place importance on activities that increase human connection and foster a sense of common purpose and camaraderie, whether it be tackling important issues as they relate to wellbeing and mental health to carving pumpkins and eating M&Ms.

Why Is Community Important To Mental Health?

We’re social beings, and we are not meant to live in isolation. Community is critical for us to thrive, especially for someone with mental illness who is already experiencing the common symptoms of loneliness and isolation.

Community provides many elements that are critical to mental health, but here are three of the most beneficial aspects:

  • Belonging – Feeling like you can be your true self without conforming.
  • Support – The people you turn to for help and understanding. Those with whom you share highs and lows
  • Purpose – Does your community feed your soul? Does it imbue your life with meaning?

How To Find Community

When looking for a stronger sense of connection, you have to start with self-reflection. Being aware of what’s important to you can help you find ways to connect with other like-minded people.

Humans crave connection. Feeling accepted for who you truly are can give you validation and self-worth. Knowing there are people who support you and will be there for you when you’re struggling provides a sense of safety. And knowing you’re needed, that you have a purpose, reminds you that you are valued. Community provides all these qualities and more.

Internal Resources


  • These consist of a team including your faculty advisor, wellness advisor, and students from all four classes. To learn more about the communities you can visit the Office of Wellbeing and Resilience Website or email Dr. Alicia Hurtado  (

The Apothecary: a biannual creative arts journal dedicated, but not limited to, the gravity of health, illness, and healing.

All Student Groups Including: Professional Groups, Affinity Groups, and Student Advocacy

Check out the Student Events Calendar on Blackboard for events taking place in the ISMMS community.

External Resources

Join Meetup to find your tribe in New York City

  • Meetup is a platform for finding and building local communities. People use Meetup to meet new people, learn new things, find support, get out of their comfort zones, and pursue their passions, together.