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Mind over Matter Peer Health Advocates

Mind Over Matter is a group of Peer Health Advocates who work to help UChicago students attend to their mental health and well-being. We are dedicated to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental health and empowering our peers to be in tune with their mental well-being. Mind Over Matter does so by providing our peers with spaces to discuss mental well-being and connecting them to resources devoted to improving and maintaining positive mental health.

Emily Chan

Mind Over Matter Student Coordinator

she/her/hers | Third Year | Major(s): Psychology & Economics

"I joined Mind Over Matter because I know that finding mental health resources and support can be difficult for a lot of my peers. I hope that the small role that I play in starting conversations about mental well-being and connecting students with resources will help foster a more supportive community and destigmatize asking for help!"

Sandhini Agarwal

she/her/hers | Fourth Year | Major(s): Biological Sciences

"I joined Mind Over Matter to become a part of efforts that strive to destigmatize mental health and provide resources to make UChicago student life happier and healthier."

Henrique Caldas

he/him/his | Third Year | Major(s): Psychology and Cinema & Media Studies

"Mental health advocacy is such an important topic today and as a person interested in a career path related to the promotion of people’s mental well-being, being a PHA is the perfect opportunity for me to involve myself in a mental health related activity and help others."

Katie Fraser

she/her/hers | Second Year | Major(s): Political Science and History

"I chose to be a PHA because I know how mentally strenuous it can be for university students during the academic year. I hope this year I get the chance to both learn more and teach others about the complexity of mental health."

Crystal Huang

she/her/hers | Second Year | Major(s): Economics and Psychology

"I hope to join a group of people that are equally passionate about mental well-being and promote understandings of and resources for mental health on campus."

Karen Lee

she/her/hers | Second Year | Major(s): Biology

"I joined Mind over Matter because I wanted to help foster discussion and awareness about the mental health issues that affect UChicago students. I wanted to help connect people to resources for mental health, and encourage more open discussions, to help people to prioritise taking care of their mental health in a busy and stressful environment like UChicago."

Karen Rodriguez

she/her/hers | Fourth Year | Major(s): Biology

"I chose to become a MoM PHA because I want to create a positive environment surrounding mental health and help my peers improve and sustain a healthy mind."

Blake Stoltenberg

he/him/his | Second Year | Major(s): Anthropology and Economics

"Seeking help for mental health issues is no easy feat; social stigma and structural barriers discourage many from getting help. I chose to be a PHA to help make this process easier and contribute to a more open dialogue about mental health struggles on campus."

Sumana Turimella

Trisha Vinay

she/her/hers | Third Year | Major(s): Biology

"I chose to be a MoM PHA because struggling with mental health while being in rigorous college environment can be especially challenging and isolating. I want to help create a positive and open space in which my peers feel supported and safe to seek help."

Adina Ziv

she/her/hers | Second Year | Major(s): Psychology

"I know firsthand the toll that college takes on a person, emotionally and socially, which is why focusing on mental health is so important. As a psychology major and a lover of people in general, I was drawn to Mind Over Matter because I want to help those who need it and learn from others at the same time."

Beating the Winter Blues Workshop

The Mind Over Matter PHAs hosted fellow students for a night of crafts, journaling and food!

Student Wellness counselors Khanh Nghiem and Sarah Taylor shared how to differentiate between seasonal affective disorder and the winter blues and how to combat the winter blues!

Helping a Friend in Crisis: A Virtual Workshop

In Autumn 2020, MoM hosted this interactive workshop on how to support friends while maintaining healthy boundaries and knowing when to reach out for help. We covered scenarios all-too-common in college, ranging from UChicago's competitive stress culture to socially distancing during COVID-19.

The Intersection Between Mental Health and Black Students at UChicago

In Autumn 2020, MoM hosted this panel covering the mental health experience of Black students on campus, as well as strategies for BIPOC students to maintain positive mental health at UChicago. This event sought to create a space for students to have an open, honest, and inclusive conversation about mental health, featuring panelists from UChicago Student Wellness, OMSA/CI+I, as well as student speakers.

Speed Friending

In Winter 2021, MoM hosted this space for students missing out on social interaction during remote learning to get to know some new faces and safely make friends. Inspired by the New York Times’ list, “36 Questions that Lead to Love,” each round was filled with interesting questions to help participants get to know each other, like: “Would you like to be famous?” “Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say?” and “If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?” 

InTouch x MoM PHAs: Sexual Health & Healthy Relationships During COVID-19

In this Winter 2021 collaborative workshop with InTouch, we explored questions like: What does it mean to build a relationship with yourself during COVID-19 through self-care? What do consent and sexual health look like during COVID-19? How do I set boundaries in relationships, or start difficult conversations with my friends about our expectations about socializing during COVID-19? and more!

The Intersection Between Mental Health and Gender

In Winter 2021, MoM hosted a second panel on the intersectionality of mental health, this time focusing on how mental health is impacted by experiences of gender. Panelists, ranging from clinical psychologists to UChicago students themselves, provided insight on a broad variety of social consequences, from how stereotypes impact the perception of mental illness to gendered differences in seeking mental health resources to mental illness challenges specific to transgender and non-binary individuals.

Hot Takes Over Hot Tea

In Spring 2021, MoM invited students to this unique virtual space to de-stress and meet new people around campus. The instructions were simple: Bring your tea or coffee and get ready to hash out the answers to some questions that have plagued humans since the dawn of time, like "Is water wet?" or "Is a hotdog a sandwich?"

The Intersection Between Mental Health and LGBTQ+ Students at UChicago

How does sexuality intersect with mental health? How can one be a good, sensitive ally to LGBTQ+ individuals dealing with mental health concerns? How do you find LGBTQ+ inclusive mental healthcare? MoM covered the answers to all these questions and more at our Spring 2021 virtual panel on the intersection between mental health and LGBTQ+ students at UChicago. This panel was MoM's third panel on the intersectionality of mental health.

UChicagoSocial: UChicago Student Wellness