Peer Health Advocates
WesWell's Peer Health Education Group
Current Student Staff
The WesWell Interns oversee WesWell's peer-led health education efforts, including the supervision of the volunteer Peer Health Advocates, in conjunction with the Director of Health Education. The WesWell Interns for 2014-2015 are:
- Willa Beckman '15
- Kimberly Berry '15
- Ashley Fine '15
- Katherine Ly '15
Peer Health AdvocatesThe volunteer members of the PHAs create and implement peer-led health education outreach efforts on a variety of health issues. We currently have about 15 volunteers from all four classes.
In addition to staffing the WesWell office and responding to student requests for assistance, the Peer Health Advocates are responsible for the development of educational activities and awareness events, often in conjunction with student organizations and health observances, on a wide variety of health issues. They offer workshops on alcohol and other drugs, sexual health, sexual violence, stress relief and more.
The PHAs have four different health focus areas. Each PHA typically chooses one or two focus areas to dedicate their volunteer time to.
Alcohol and Other Drugs: We work to promote responsible decision making regarding alcohol and other drugs by providing applicable information to peers about usage and consumption. We organize workshops about alcohol and drugs on campus and work with the Brief Motivational Interviewers, a student group at Wes that uses active listening techniques and alcohol physiology to have conversations about alcohol with first year students.
Bystander Intervention: We work together to develop and deliver programs, social marketing campaigns, and participate in any other bystander intervention initiatives. We Speak We Stand (WSWS) is Wesleyan’s Bystander Intervention program which aims to create a community that is actively engaged in the prevention of sexual assault / relationship violence and advocates for the responsible use of alcohol. The goal of the program is to empower bystanders to intervene in high-risk situations involving alcohol use, sexual assault, and relationship violence.
Sexual Health: We promote positive and responsible sexual health while respecting people’s individual choices. We create awareness of sexual health issues including resources both on and off campus by educating students through workshops, outreach and social marketing campaigns about consent, safer sex strategies, STI and pregnancy resources, healthy relationships and the spectrum of sexual violence including: sexual assault, stalking, and unhealthy relationships.
Wellness: We focus on improving the mental and emotional wellbeing of students. This includes education and outreach on topics such as sleep, stress, nutrition, and exercise. Past projects and events include: classes providing an introduction to different aspects of mindfulness, such as meditation, self-awareness, yoga, and gratitude, events on positive psychology and happiness, massage for stress relief workshops, and outreach on healthy sleep habits.
The Peer Health Advocates actively seek out opportunities to collaborate on health education events and co-sponsor programs with other student organizations throughout the year. If your organization is planning a health-related event and is looking for ideas or resources, you are encouraged to discuss it with a Peer Health Advocate or other WesWell staff member early in your planning stages in order to see how we might be of assistance. Funding assistance is also available through the HealthFull Words Fund.