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Student Advocates for Mental Health

It is estimated that over 1 in 5 people have a mental health disorder in any one year.  Less than 50% of those people seek treatment, and those who do often wait years before they do.  In the US alone, someone dies by suicide every 12 seconds, 140+ die daily from drug overdoses, and over 80,000 people die annually from alcohol use disorder (  

For these reasons, and many more, Mental Health First Aid has become a vital course in training individuals to help those in need.  Similar to CPR, Mental Health First Aid teaches the learner to respond to mental health crises and respond in an appropriate way.  Additionally, this course aims to teach the learners more about the most common mental health illnesses and reduce stigma associated with those. 

Here at IUSM we offer MHFA training, which results in a certificate valid for three years, several times a year.  In the past year we have trained over 25 students.  For training dates please email Kristen Heath ( or “Check the MD Student News” as the training dates are constantly changing.

Some of our trained students have stepped up to be recognized as Student Advocates for Mental Health.  Previously, these students were known as peer to peer facilitators. This group of students promote mental health at IUSM through peer facilitation of various groups and activities.  They are also available for one on one support for any student who needs someone to talk to. Please reach out to one of these students if you’d like someone to listen to you, if you’d like to discuss mental health issues, or just need advice on a situation with a friend, loved one or another peer.  Below is a list of our SAMH students, with their emails and phone numbers.  Do not hesitate to reach out.  They are here for YOU!

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