Peer Health Educators Promote Health and Wellness at CSUSB
Students promote health and wellness at CSUSB as peer health educators (PHE). Through training and mentoring from the Student Health Center’s Department of Health Promotion (DHP) staff, the peer health educators learn about critical health-related topics and develop skills to design and facilitate a wide range of informative, interactive, and practical health promotion and disease prevention programs. This includes conducting virtual and in-person workshops on a variety of topics, including sexual health, sexually transmitted infections, birth control, alcohol and drug use, nutrition/fitness, mental health, self-care, and coping with stress.
Peer health educators go through an on-boarding and training program, which gives them the confidence and knowledge to work in an office and healthcare setting. A large portion of their training is dedicated to four key health areas: physical health, mental health, reproductive health, and alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Once they complete the training, they begin educating the campus community.
Peer health educators are tasked with many duties throughout the semester, including creating health outreach programs, such as presentations, workshops, and tabling events. This involves research, designing displays and marketing materials, and conducting program evaluations.
“We give our PHEs the autonomy to choose the health topic they feel is needed among students,” said Melissa Acuna, Student Health Center Senior Health Educator.
Some notable programs designed by the peer health educators include the Party Safe tabling event, which educated students about alcohol moderation and risk reduction, and the presentation Overcoming Imposter Syndrome as a First-Generation Student.
This semester, the peer health educators have conducted seven presentations and plan to host 10 in the spring.
Other responsibilities include writing articles for the weekly Health Hub newsletter, creating educational Instagram posts, and editing TikToks.
DHP welcomes all majors and students from diverse backgrounds to apply to be peer health educators. Students can apply in the summer.
“It’s truly been a pleasure to work so closely with our peer health educators,” said Melissa. “They provide invaluable insight into current health trends and the student experience.”
She added, “I am very fortunate to work with such bright and dedicated students to better the lives of our campus community.”