PEERS Coalition and “You Are Not Alone”: The troubles of distance learning and mental health


Courtesy Stephen Howe

Students attend SRJC PEERS Coalition’s “You are Not Alone: Reflecting Together on Well-Being During Distance Learning.”

Stephen Howe, Reporter

The Santa Rosa Junior College PEERS Coalition hosted an event Nov. 17 that discussed the mental health pros and cons of remote learning.

The Zoom session, titled “You are Not Alone: Reflecting Together on Well-Being During Distance Learning,”  talked about strengths students discovered as a result of pandemic-induced distance learning. 

Panelist Felix Santiago said that with online classes, they learned to raise their hand to speak up more. “A strength of mine is being able to make a statement now that I am able to raise my hand,” they said.

Liya Levanda presented a slideshow detailing common pandemic struggles and their remedies  and then used Google Jamboard to brainstorm actions SRJC could take to support students, including installing fully operational mics and cameras in classrooms with paid tech support and additional hybrid learning options.

The PEERS Coalition is a Student Health Services program that uses the voices of students to increase and destigmatize the conversation surrounding mental health.

“A lot of what we do is around reducing stigma and sharing resources, whether it’s with mental health or online learning. We also wanted to create a sense of community, like we’re all in this together,” PEERS Coalition Supervisor Jeane Erlenborne said.

Well-Being Wednesday is 5-6 p.m. every first and third Wednesday on Zoom. Student Health Services also provides free therapy to all students and can be reached at 707-527-4445. Follow the PEERS Coalition and stay up to date with their events on Instagram at @srjcpeers.