Peer Health Educators
Outreaches are offered to any organization in the University community, though we receive the majority of our requests from fraternities and sororities (to fulfill FOA requirements) and first year dorms (for health and wellness requirements). Outreaches are intended to provide general information and further resources on several health topics that are of particular importance to the college population. Current PHE outreaches include: Sexfest (sexual health), Buzzed (alcohol and drugs), Nutrition (healthy eating), and Trouble in the Bubble (stress management).
What people have to say about PHE Outreaches:
"I liked the openness and the scope of the program"
"The PHEs were very personable and created an open environment to ask questions"
"I liked the interaction -like the pouring game to see how much alcohol is in a drink"
"The PHEs were friendly and very comfortable with the information"
Apples to Apples
"The PHEs presented relevant information, including information about the latest nutrition guidelines"
"Learned about the resources on grounds, including free consultations with nutritionists"
Trouble in the Bubble
"Learned about how to help manage my stress better"
- Provides an open forum for students to explore pertinent issues
- Allows students a structured format to challenge myths and misperceptions
- Students receive factual, up-to-date information from comprehensively trained paraprofessionals
- Provides students with appropriate referrals in a safe, interactive, and supportive environment
The sexual health outreach provides students with information that will enable them to make safer choices about their sexual practices and address any misconceptions about sexual health. An STI card game gives the audience a basic understanding of types, transmission, symptoms, and other relevant STI information. As another option, participants can play "Sexual Health Jeopardy," and test their knowledge about STIs, contraception, and other sexual health issues, including emergency contraception and LGBT related topics. The difference and efficacy of STI testing and screening is also mentioned to help facilitate sexual health awareness. An activity addressing consent preludes a discussion on the various contraceptive options available for practicing safer sex, and is then followed by an audience lead activity on how to correctly put on and remove a condom.
The alcohol and drugs outreach gives students information that will help them to avoid high-risk behaviors and clear up any previously held myths about these substances. General information, such as University policies and alcohol facts, are reviewed through a variety of interactive games. Drug cards are used to provide specific descriptions for common substances abused on college campuses. Another activity stresses how to know the relative alcoholic content of a drink and how it can change under impaired behavioral responses. The outreach also covers strategies for helping a friend who may have a drug problem and how to care for someone who is under the influence.
Apples to Apples
This nutritionally focused outreach teaches on healthy eating habits and encourages active living. Students will gain the tools they need to achieve a balanced diet, in spite of the difficulties of the dining hall or cooking one's own food. Commonly held nutrition myths are dispelled, the USDA's new "My Plate" (replacing the Food Pyramid) is described, and a nutrition label is explained. As healthier eating has been proven difficult on a meal plan or for students who often eat out, an activity for planning meals in a dining hall or at common Corner restaurants is included. Body image and eating disorder issues are not a focus of the outreach, but other services on grounds are mentioned as resources. We provide links to resources for healthy eating (like choosemyplate.gov) and nutritionist consultations (for those on a meal plan and those without). For those organizations willing to provide the necessary materials, a food demonstration is available; the educators provide a recipe (choose from a spinach salad, trail mix, or no-bake snack mix) and give a description of the nutrients each snack provides, making it as they go along.
Trouble in the Bubble
The stress management outreach begins with an emphasis on the existence of good and bad stress, as well as reviewing how students react to stress and ideas for how students can cope with it. Two ways are specifically taught in how to relieve stress, either through massage techniques or a deep breathing exercise. The outreach also touches on some illnesses related to stress: depression, anxiety disorders, and panic attacks. Most students can recognize stress in their environment, so the outreach plans to encourage positive ways to manage stress and alert them to resources (such as CAPS, the Counseling and Psychological Services run out of Student Health) at their disposal. Finally, the outreach covers sleep habits; reviewing several facts and myths surrounding healthy sleep and going over how to achieve a better night’s sleep.
For more information, contact Office of Health Promotion at 924-1509 or firstname.lastname@example.org, PHE Outreach Intern.