“You are truly not alone”: UM alumnus on mental health and world travels

Mofid celebrates the 75 country he has visited while in Antigua and Barbuda in April.
Mofid celebrates the 75 country he has visited while in Antigua and Barbuda in April. Photo credit: Cameron Mofid

Whether it is riding along the Victoria Falls or trekking through the rainforests of Guyana, UM alumnus Cameron Mofid has carried with him a distinct goal: raise mental health awareness around the world.

Mofid graduated magna cum laude from the University of Miami in the spring of 2022. Mofid is now finishing his Master’s degree in business administration at UM as he pursues a career in entrepreneurship.

Despite now pursuing business, growing up an avid tennis player, Mofid’s dreams once looked very different. From childhood and well into his teenage years, Mofid aspired to play Division I tennis. The summer before his senior year of high school, he attended Rafael Nadal’s Tennis Academy in Mallorca, Spain. It was at this camp that Mofid’s goals would change trajectory.

“I was living in San Diego and, at the time, I’d struggled a lot with my mental health and a lot of anxiety and depression,” Mofid said.

After his time in Spain and managing his mental health in an unaccustomed environment, Mofid realized that he did not want to pursue tennis at the collegiate level. Instead, using his tennis connections, Mofid worked for star tennis player Nick Kyrgios’s charity, the NK Foundation.

“The goal was to support underprivileged youth and their sporting endeavors throughout Australia,” Mofid said. “I went everywhere from Singapore to London to South America and Eastern Europe; it really opened the door for my love for travel.”

During his travels, Mofid noticed a persistent theme in every country he visited — people all across the world struggle with mental health issues.

“I thought I was the only one that was kind of having those problems, those issues and the more I traveled the more I kind of realized that there’s a lot of people out there my age or older than me different from me struggle with their mental health,” Mofid said. “I’ve learned that mental health doesn’t discriminate.”

Since this realization, Mofid has made it his goal to raise global mental health awareness. So far, he has visited 86 countries and worked with countless people of all demographics from every nation.

It doesn’t take much for Mofid to decide where his next destination is. He simply does a couple searches on Google Flights and Skyscanner and away he goes.

“I try to go where the destination is the cheapest and start there,” Mofid said. “It’s a freeing feeling hopping on a plane to the other side of the world where you know nobody.”

Once he arrives, Mofid travels around local communities, talking to as many people as he can.

“People, generally, genuinely have an inclination to want to connect and help each other,” Mofid said. “By approaching travel with a lens of openness, I have been able to develop meaningful relationships that I otherwise would not have been able to.”

Mofid poses with children from the Afar enthic group while traveling in Djibouti in April.
Mofid poses with children from the Afar enthic group while traveling in Djibouti in April. Photo credit: Cameron Mofid

On his travels, Mofid has stayed with friends from the UM who reside outside the United States. Ethan Naos, a Miami native and peer at UM, housed Mofid while he was exploring Europe.

“I was in Greece for the summer visiting my family and Cameron was in Europe,” said Naos, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering. “He stayed at my house for two days before going to Albania, it was amazing to be a part of his experience.”

Mofid relied on his peers and professors to realize his dream of traveling and advocating mental health awareness. Susan Amat, a professor of entrepreneurship in the Miami Herbert Business School, made sure that Mofid was supported in every way possible.

“From traveling for so many years I have a strong network of friends and colleagues in 180 plus countries,” Amat said. “The main thing is to make sure he is safe and has a trusted contact on the ground. I ask him to check in regularly from his travels so I can make a call if anything needs to be done.”

Amat said she has had many ambitious and gifted students but has never seen a student show so much promise and drive for pursuing his passion.

“The most important piece is Cameron making an impact and bringing this knowledge into his business and relationships,” Amat said. “I’ve devoted my life to supporting entrepreneurs and Cameron is a triple threat which makes it so much more fun!”

Mofid spoke to the University of Miami community about his advocacy during the TEDxUM event in April, 2021.
Mofid spoke to the University of Miami community about his advocacy during the TEDxUM event in April, 2021. Photo credit: Cameron Mofid

Now, Mofid is finishing his travels through Canada and continues to be an global advocate for mental health awareness. Mofid plans to go back to Eastern Europe to continue his efforts.

He has already spoken on a TEDxUMiami Talk and wants people to know that no matter who you are or where you are from, everyone suffers from mental health deficiencies and that mental health issues have no borders and affect people all over the globe.

“I met people who experienced civil wars in Ethiopia just by talking to them in a gym,” Mofid said. “It is important to treat everyone with kindness and know that you are truly not alone.”