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Meet Peer Advisors and Educators

Peer Health Advisors

Peer Health Advisers (PHAs) are students trained to provide support and referrals for other students with health-related concerns. Talk to them about anything from sexual health, sleep or alcohol to nutrition or stress and mental health. PHAs also generate awareness of health issues through campaigns, events and programs such as Safer Sex Jeopardy, the Sexpert Column, Test Your Mood screenings, and new programs to be designed by the PHAs. Meet some of them below! To learn more about the PHAs, visit their web page.

Student Health Advisory Board

The Student Health Advisory Board (SHAB) is a student-run organization committed to ensuring student satisfaction and quality of health care at Princeton University. SHAB members advocate for the health and wellness of all students on campus. As official liaisons between students and University Health Services (UHS), SHAB works closely with the university administration, healthcare providers, and various student groups. SHAB also encourages awareness and dialogue regarding health issues affecting college students. SHAB’s role continues to expand as its members adapt to the changing health and wellness needs of the University community. To learn more about SHAB, visit their web page.

LGBT Peer Educators

The LGBT Peer Educators conduct educational panels and are peers who can talk anytime about issues relating to sexuality and gender identity. For more information or to contact a Peer Educator, check out the LGBT Peer Education Program, which is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students. Meet some of them below!

SHARE Peer Advisors

Being a victim/survivor of power-based personal violence, including: sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic/dating violence, and stalking is not a mental health issue. While there is not a causal relationship, the experience of violence can precipitate emotional distress or trauma and persons with mental health issues can be targeted as victims. Whether or not mental health issues accompany violence for you or your friends, SHARE peers can help victims/survivors get connected with on-campus and off-campus resources that address physical, emotional, medical, legal and campus disciplinary needs. To learn more about the SHARE Peer Program, visit their web page.

 


Jackie Cremos ’14Whitman | SHARE Peer Advisor
I’m a senior in the Woodrow Wilson School hailing from Athens, Greece. I love community radio and I directed the News Department at WPRB Princeton for three years. I live in Whitman, so come say hi if you get the chance!

What would happen if we treated physical health issues (diseases, injuries) in the same way we treated mental health? Would we tell someone who broke her leg to buck up and get over it? I think we owe it to ourselves and our peers to create a safe, comfortable space where people can talk about mental health. As a peer advisor, I want my classmates to feel comfortable talking to me about SHARE issues and whatever else is on their mind.


Neelay Patil’14, Mathey | Peer Health Advisor
Hey! My name is Neelay, and I’m from the great town of Holmdel, New Jersey. I’m a senior in the Woodrow Wilson School with a certificate in Latin American Studies. To de-stress, I like to hit the gym or catch up with friends. My email address is npatil@princeton.edu. Feel free to reach out!

I believe that through an open dialogue about mental health, students will be able to access resources that can help them become healthier and happier.


Emily Chang ’16, Butler | LGBT Peer Educator
I’m a sophomore from the city of Boston, majoring in Comparative Literature. On campus I serve as Co-President of the Club Powerlifting team, PR Chairman of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and LGBT Center Assistant and LGBT Peer Educator. I am also a member of Tower Club. I enjoy creating art and taking photos.

Only by opening up constructive dialogue about mental health can we finally dismantle the stigma so often attached to issues of mental health. Nobody should, for example, feel ashamed for using resources like CPS (Counseling and Psychological Services); on the contrary, this should be something people feel free to talk about with their friends and acquaintances.


Jane Jae-Kyung Jeong ’16, Whitman College  | Peer Health Advisor
Hi! My name is Jane and I’m from Paris, France (but I’ve grown up in Switzerland, Korea and Kenya in between). I’m a sophomore in the Chemistry Department, hoping to get a certificate in Creative Writing. In addition to being a PHA at Whitman (WE HAVE AC), I’m a Whitman/McGraw chemistry tutor and a publicity assistant for the Nassau Literary Review. I can often be found reading, scrolling through Tumblr around various sites on campus and wishing it were sunny 24/7.

I’ve noticed that a surprising number of Princeton students try to build a wall around themselves — that is, we want to show others that they’ve ALWAYS got EVERYTHING under control. The hard truth is, there are times when this may not be the case (which is perfectly natural: life is full of ups and downs!); when this happens, though, we not only feel bad about ourselves for not living up to this standard but also try to build an even higher wall so that others can’t find out how “weak” we are. Naturally, this harms the body both physically and psychologically, so one of my goals as a PHA is to create an open, judgment-free, honest forum in which students can talk about difficult emotions and personal experiences.


Michael Chang ’16, Rockefeller College | Peer Health Advisor
I am a sophomore from Princeton, New Jersey, and am majoring in Molecular Biology with a certificate in Global Health & Health Policy. Outside of serving as a Peer Health Adviser, I am also an Orange Key Tour Guide, officer of TropicalClinics Rural Health, former Breakout Trip leader, peer tutor, and member of the debate team. In my spare time, I love playing tennis, taking photos, cooking, and traveling. Most importantly, I am always open to giving advice and lending a helping hand!

Serving as a campus liaison between university health services and students with mental and health concerns is especially important to me because I understand how difficult it is to feel comfortable in seeking help. Mental health issues are too often unnoticed and neglected, even though they are just as important for our well-being as physical problems. Thus, especially since college can be such a stressful and demanding time, I hope to contribute to establishing an open dialogue about mental health so that students at Princeton don’t feel alone in times of need.


Akshata Shirahatti ’14, Rockefeller College | Peer Health Advisor
Hey everyone! I’m a senior from Atlanta, GA, and being apart of the SHARE program has been a highlight of my Princeton experience. On campus I enjoy serving on the executive board of Tropical Clinics for Rural Health, dancing with Naacho South Asian Dance Company, and being an Outdoor Action Leader.

I think that Mental Health Week is an incredible way to get Princeton students talking about issues that are often internalized or pushed aside. There is no reason that anyone should have to feel isolated or alone when dealing with the stress and demanding atmosphere that school can impose. Through dialogue, education, and increasing awareness about resources on campus, Mental Health Week is critical in maintaining a network of support and care on campus.

 


Makenna May ’17, Butler College SHAB Member
Hello! My name is Makenna May. I have lived in northern Idaho for the past few years, and I am originally from Chicago. I am majoring in French and am passionate about global health and translation. On campus, I am a member of SHAB, and I am part of the Princeton University Language Program (PULP).

I have found that one of the most challenging parts of being a Princeton student is finding balance and wellness. Being a part of SHAB is important to me because I am motivated to help my fellow peers take care of themselves, balance school and extracurriculars, find healthy ways to relieve stress, and resist the pressure to compare themselves to other students. I hope that I can be a friend at Princeton who helps others remember to not be so hard on themselves.
I hope that I can help remind Princeton students that our school offers amazing opportunities to grow personally, to develop great relationships, and to have unparalleled experiences. Our horizons here do not just include academics; we need to give ourselves a balance between schoolwork and other activities.


Lily Offit ’15, Mathey College | SHAB Member
Hello! I’m a psychology major from NYC. On campus, I work in a neuroscience lab which is studying the mechanisms by which social disruption affects social behavior. I’m an editor/writer for the Nassau Weekly, on the Editorial Board of the Daily Prince, and this semester I’m coaching a youth basketball team. I love running, writing and also anything that involves paint.

Students are hesitant seek help for mental health issues because of the dangerous stigma attached to it. It is up to each and every one of us (i.e. YOU) to change this unhealthy collective attitude! Take it upon yourself to encourage communication about these issues to terminate the stigma.


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