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Spartans of UD - Chris Phillippe

By University Relations Staff

Spartans of UD highlights what makes the University of Dubuque special - the people.

Chris Phillippe, of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, is a sophomore English and English in secondary education double major who is also getting his coaching endorsement. After attending a Peer Support Workshop in spring 2023, Phillippe volunteered to be trained by NAMI Dubuque to help begin the first student-led Peer Support Group at the University of Dubuque. The group, which typically meets every second and fourth Monday during the fall and spring semesters, will meet three more times this semester from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Monday, March 11, 2024, Monday, March 25, 2024, and Monday, April 8, 2024, in the lower level of the Smeltzer-Kelly Student Health Center. Phillippe, who is on the men's lacrosse team, also reestablished the student organization Active Minds.

What inspired you to become one of the student leaders of the first student-led Peer Support Group at the University of Dubuque?

"What really inspired me to become a student leader in the Peer Support Group was my family's history of mental health struggles and my desire to know how to support members of my community who have possibly gone through uniquely similar situations and scenarios."

For those unfamiliar with the group, can you share what students can expect from a Peer Support Group meeting?

"The Peer Support Group is a student-led group where peers can reach out to other peers and form connections and bonds through the group. We are focused on allowing students to have a place to talk about struggles and problems they may have together."

You volunteered to attend training by NAMI Dubuque in preparation for the Peer Support Group. What were some of the takeaways from that training that you still use today?

"I really got a lot from the training by NAMI Dubuque. One thing I took away from that training was how to let people know that their struggles are uniquely theirs, however, they are not alone in dealing with a problem and how situations can be uniquely similar."

Why did you decide to reestablish Active Minds? What do you want people to know about the student organization that promotes mental health for young adults?

"I got the idea to reestablish Active Minds from one of my friends and teammates Peter Schiess who was around for the first Active Minds and came to me with the idea of restarting the group, and that's what we did. Active Minds is now a group that's focused on spreading awareness through informational posters and presentations. So, I really want to put Peter's name out there because he was the one who really informed me about it. I also additionally want to thank everyone who is a part of active minds. I am incredibly grateful and proud of them all and we would not be where we are without them."

In your opinion, what makes the University of Dubuque unique?

"I full-heartedly believe what makes the University of Dubuque so unique is how strong our community is and how dedicated the university is to providing a community that looks out for one another and genuinely cares about its students."