SRJC Peers coalition seeks to aid student wellness

Domanique Crawford, Staff Writer

The People Empowering Each other to Realize Success (PEERS) Coalition is an organization whose goal is to raise awareness about mental wellness and the health benefits available to the SRJC community.

The coalition provides support and training to active students, club leaders,interns,staffandfacultywith the goal of enhancing mental wellness around campus.

PEERS coordinator Rebecca Fein, said, “According to the National College Health Assessment, more than three out of four SRJC students report having felt overwhelmed by all that they had to do in the past year. The PEERS Coalition is focused on bringing out the student voice around issues of mental wellness in the campus communities.”

PEERS devotes its efforts to eliminating any negative implications or stigma associated with mental wellness.

The Coalition provides a comfortable and judgment-free environment where peers can get together and provide support for one another and participate in activities the Coalition may host, as well as raising awareness of mental health issues through media campaigns.

The coalition also wants to let the SRJC community know about the health benefits it provides to its student body.

“We work to raise awareness of all of the available resources around campus and throughout the community that contribute to mental wellness,” Feins said.

At the beginning of each semester every student pays an $18 fee for health services. Not many people realize what they are paying for.

The services provided include control of communicable diseases, short-term clinical care for illnesses and injuries, contraceptives and preventive health promotion, crisis intervention and brief counseling for mental health concerns.

Health care for chronic, long term conditions is not within the scope of the department’s services, though referrals and community resources are provided for students who need them. Collaboration with community service providers is central to the model.

The Coalition holds monthly meetings in which community organizations, students, club leaders, staff and faculty members are provided training on healthy relationships, suicide prevention communication skills, diversity and more.

“The first meeting was all about actual students talking to actual students. Everyone was really involved,” said Joe Wagner PEERS Coalition intern.

For more information about Cal MHSA, please visit www.calmhsa.org.