Peer Health Advocates

Peer Health Advocates at Wellapalooza.

Peer Health Advocates (PHAs) are committed to supporting their fellow students and empowering them to make healthy choices. They do this by connecting them to campus resources and offering education related to a variety of health and wellness topics. The PHA program includes the InTouch, Body Positive, and Mind Over Matter PHAs.

  • The Body Positive is a group of PHAs who work to promote positive body image within the UChicago community. See the list of Body Positive PHAs.
  • InTouch is a group of PHAs who work to educate UChicago students about sexual health and healthy relationships. See the list of InTouch PHAs.
  • Mind Over Matter is a group of PHAs who work to empower UChicago students to cultivate a culture of positive mental well-being.

To request a workshop led by the Peer Health Advocates, please complete this form. We will contact you as soon as possible and we look forward to meeting you. Thanks!

The Body Positive

The Body Positive is a group of PHAs who work to promote positive body image within the UChicago community. Members are committed to empowering students to reconnect to their innate body wisdom so that they can have more balance, joyful self-care, and a loving relationship with themselves that is guided by forgiveness and appreciation. The Body Positive PHAs provide safe spaces to discuss issues related to body image as trained facilitators and create programming that works toward a more body positive campus environment.

Body Positive PHAs aim to:

  • Facilitate non-judgmental conversations about body image and eating disorders for people of all body types and backgrounds.
  • Provide spaces for open discussion about unrealistic beauty ideals and the potential harm that pursuing those ideals can cause.
  • Build a supportive, inclusive community of students who are interested in discussing issues related to body image and eating disorders.
  • Encourage the spread of body positivity throughout the campus, and create an environment where open, accepting conversation of body image and weight concerns is the social norm.
  • Link students to existing body image and eating disorder related resources.

For more information, visit the Body Positive Facebook page.

InTouch

InTouch is a group of PHAs who work to educate UChicago students about sexual health and healthy relationships. InTouch is committed to providing informative, sex positive workshops and programs that empower students by enabling them to make well-informed choices regarding their relationships with others.

InTouch aims to:

  • Create a comfortable and inclusive environment for students to express their concerns and ask questions regarding their own sexual health and relationships.
  • Inspire students to think critically about what constitutes a healthy relationship and to be aware of their own interactions with others.
  • Link students to both on- and off-campus resources related to sexual health and relationships.
  • Teach students best practices for maintaining their sexual health.

For more information, visit the InTouch Facebook page.

Mind Over Matter

Mind Over Matter is a group of PHAs who work to empower UChicago students to cultivate a culture of positive mental well-being. Mind Over Matter is committed to helping raise awareness of mental health by hosting two discussion forum series, Shutting Down Stigma and Resource Reassurance. Shutting Down Stigma is focused specifically on discussing mental health and the stigma surrounding it. Resource Reassurance is centered on highlighting existing resources for students and allowing students the opportunity to share their experiences with those services.

Mind Over Matter aims to:

  • Encourage discussion of mental health and mental illness in a safe space where students are feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and concerns.
  • Help create a culture of care around mental health on campus.
  • Provide ways to help and support each other with regards to mental well-being.
  • Link students to the mental health resources both on and off campus and how to navigate them.

For more information, visit the Mind Over Matter Facebook page.

Apply to the PHA Program

We recruit new students during the Spring Quarter each year. Please check back in Spring Quarter to learn more about becoming a PHA, or email Katrina Wagner with questions.

All UChicago students who can meet the participation requirements and are committed to educating fellow students are invited to apply to become a PHA. We encourage students of all backgrounds, genders, and identities to become PHAs.

PHAs will be expected to:

  • Participate in the new member training program (Autumn Quarter)
  • Attend and participate in weekly team meetings (time varies based on PHAs’ schedules)
  • Facilitate workshops
    • InTouch workshops take place on Sunday evenings and at a variety of special events
    • The Body Project workshops are scheduled upon requests received
  • Be active in the Health Promotion and Wellness community by:
    • Checking email regularly and responding in a timely fashion
    • Presenting workshops to peers
    • Volunteering at events when available
    • Promoting health and wellness resources and programs
    • Promoting Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) services and programs

PHAs benefit by:

  • Learning about health and wellness topics and being a resource for other students
  • Facilitating workshops, working in a team, and developing projects as a group
  • Being part of a strong and supportive community
  • Contributing to creating a culture of wellness at UChicago
  • Developing your communication, leadership, and collaboration skills

UChicagoSocial: SHCS