Students gather outside of Fairchild Martindale Library to enjoy the nice weather. Avinash Gadde, ‘25, a peer health advisor, said he would rate the happiness of Lehigh students at around a six or seven out of 10. (Maeve Kelly/B&W Staff)

Peer Health Advisors offer mental health resources


The New York Times ranked the U.S. No. 23 worldwide in the annual World Happiness Report.

In the 2022-2023 Life at Lehigh Survey Data report, 25.4% of respondents said they felt they “actively contributed to the happiness and well-being of others.”

Avinash Gadde, ‘25, a peer health advisor, said he would rate the happiness of Lehigh students at around a six or seven out of 10. He said he attributes the COVID-19 pandemic, a lack of social interaction and social media are the three largest factors impacting this rating. 

He attributes the pandemic as the biggest interruption of the high school experience for himself and many other students.


“It was like a massive social hit,” Gadde said. “I feel as (if when) they all came back, everyone was hesitant to talk to each other.” 

As for social media, he said it gives people a way to keep themselves entertained without face-to-face interaction.



Gadde said through social media, many of his peers feel political pressures that cause stress and worry. 

Shamell Brandon, a staff psychologist at Lehigh, said the Counseling Center provides help for many students. 

“From what’s been on the news, the perception is that students have been less happy and more distressed,” Brandon said. “At Lehigh, it seems students are in a similar range to national averages.”

Benjamin Johnson, a graduate ass

istant, is a member of the Peer Health program. He said the Wellness Wagon, a cart stocked with health product

s, was introduced to bring the medical center to students to improve its mobility.

“If someone needs a Band-Aid, it’s a lot harder to find the motivation to go (to the medical center),” Johnson said. “So, the idea was to bring everything and put it on wheels.” 

 Through this program, students get easier access to products they might need, saving a trip to the Health Center. 

 Iris Zeng, ‘26, said Lehigh also h

osts events where students can have the opportunity to destress. For example, during midterms and finals therapy dogs and yoga sessions are available.

On April 9, there will also be an event called Lehigh STEPS into Spring for students to partake in.

Gadde said some students don’t take advantage of these resources on campus. He said he thinks they may feel embarrassed or judged when a

ccessing the help they need or getting supplies.

He said having events around campus, especially on the STEPS lawn and in FML, is one way Peer Health Advisors work to make students feel more comfortable. 

Moving forward, Gadde said 

he wants advisors to find new ways to connect with students. 

“We as Peer Health Advisors were thinking of hosting one-on-one sessions with students, but just as students talking to each other,” Gadde said. “It’s been something we’ve been trying to push.” 

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