Meet the Brown University PMHAs

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Nam - Computer Science and History '21, Lived Experience with: Depression, Anxiety, Suicidal Thoughts and Actions, SSRI medication, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and a little bit of Autism! I have a love-hate relationship with formal supports (medication, psychiatrists, etc.), and I absolutely love fun activities such as hiking, reading or building stuff to take a short break once in a while.

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Shivani Nishar - Cognitive Science '20: Shivani's focus and lived experience relates to social/generalized anxiety, seasonal affective disorder, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and the complex dynamics of being a mentally ill woman of color. Much of her support is grounded in empowering and uplifting POC communities and their mental wellbeing, as well as utilizing forms of care outside of a health professional setting. She hopes to be a compassionate and proactive advocate & friend for you in whatever capacity you need her to be.

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Andrea - I’m in the class of 2021 and am on the pre-med track, studying psychology and taking music classes on the side (which I am deeply passionate about)! I have lived experience with undiagnosed EDNOS from high school to college. I am open to listening to anyone's experiences whether different or similar to my own and am so excited to meet new people and offer support.

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Hi everyone! My name is Izzy, and I am a second year concentrating in CS (I think??). I have lived experience with OCD, anxiety, and depression. Talk to me about finding the right providers, being queer, seeking accommodations, building support networks, managing time, and so much more! <3

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Nico, alum '17 (Africana Studies/Music). Experience with: eating disorders, depression, anxiety, short-term hospitalization, navigating healthcare while trans, academic accommodations. Areas of focus: gender and sexuality, ACT, CBT, nutrition, movement, sexual violence prevention, mindfulness, time management and stress reduction

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Beatrice – English Literature ’18 – diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder – anxiety, eating disorders, toxic relationships, depression and hypomania, suicidal ideation, medication, mental illness in the family, international student experience, medical leave – coping mechanisms: writing, journaling, therapy, positive psychology, mindfulness, empathy

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Suzanne — Economics and Environmental Studies ’20; Primary focuses: anxiety and eating disorders. I’m always here to listen and offer advice when I can!

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Michelle, Health & Human Biology '18--Areas of Focus: eating disorders, anxiety, depression, sexual violence, and cultural difference. Emphasis on positive coping mechanisms, sustainable healthy behaviors, and active stress management.

Marie Lachance - Freshman; BEO with a specific focus in social entrepreneurship. Primary focuses: eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia), food anxiety, and over-exercising. Outside of being a PMHA, I make late night smoothies in the Ivy Room, teach swim lessons for preschoolers, serve on the marketing team for Stand Up! and TEDxBrownU, and I love to run around Providence, drink coffee, and watch Gilmore Girls.

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Thu, ‘19 concentrating in Health and Human Biology. I have experience navigating mental health at Brown, especially when it comes to resources such as CAPS, SEAS, and finding any psychiatrist off-campus. My lived experiences include PMDD, depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders and handling suicidal thoughts, and I have a focus on inter generational trauma and cultural differences. I’d especially love to share experiences about creating a good supportive social space when it comes to family, friends, and peers!

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Grant is a sophomore at Brown who specializes in outside referrals. In his free time, he enjoys cycling as well as working on scientific research. • Focus: Depression, Outside Referrals, Cultural Differences • Resources Used: Exercise, breathing exercises, Stress management strategies

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Brianna - Junior concentrating in IR. Lived experience with Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Panic attacks, and the difficulties of coping with mental health issues as a woman of color. Would love nothing more than to uplift and support you! Focus: coping mechanisms, struggling with social media, and confidence.

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Elyse -- Class of 2020 -- Public Health -- Depression, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), disordered eating, body dysmorphia, panic attacks, and PTSD. I am on the premed track and am passionate about bringing more empathy and compassion to the medical field. I am also very interested in exploring how visual and performing arts help to manage and alleviate mental illness. Feel free to reach out whenever.

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Hello! I'm Karen and I'm a sophomore studying Computer Science. I have lived experience with social anxiety, general executive dysfunction, and stress management. Come talk to me about navigating mental health resources for the first time, finding community and support networks, or anything else!

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Janice - Recovery + Wellness; Dual-Degree. Diagnosed with depression about two years ago after living with it for much longer. Focus: coping skills, day-to-day logistics in relation to mood disorders, and finding a therapist. I've experienced CAPS at both Brown and RISD, before transitioning to an external provider. I still experience some challenges in daily life, but they now feel much more manageable.

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Yema - proud mentally ill, first-gen., Asian-American woman. Medical Anthropology of Mental Health, '19. Lived experience with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, orthorexia and disordered eating, panic attacks, depressive episodes, supporting suicidal and depressed friends, neglectful and/or codependent/unhealthy relationships, and toxic pre-med/general academic culture. Resources: illustrating with watercolor and lettering, weightlifting, and talking to loved ones. Massive believer in the power of self-advocacy, radical acceptance, and the social model of disability/mental illness. Wherever you are in your life, I will meet you where you are, and we'll go from there. I got you.

Sumera - Health & Human Biology, Music ‘21: Lived experience with depression, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), eating disorders, OCD, chronic pain, experiences with taking corresponding medications, and cultural differences. I know how hard it is to come to an entirely different environment and having to struggle with these things on top of everything so I just hope I can provide help and as much support as needed!

Vanessa, BEO ‘20.5 -- Lived experience with bipolar disorder I and schizophrenia. Areas of focus: mood disorders, schizoaffective disorder & schizophrenia, depression, psychosis, suicidal ideation/action, anxiety, perfectionism, navigating diagnoses in POC communities, finding and utilizing therapy, taking alternative paths in undergraduate career (leaves, reducing courseload), utilizing CBT & DBT, and cultivating self love and acceptance.

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Elizabeth - Statistics ’19.5 - Focus on bipolar spectrum mood disorders; lived experience with rapid cycling mood episodes, anxiety, chronic illness, disordered eating, suicidal thoughts.

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Katherine - cognitive science (’20). Lived experience with generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and sexual assault. I have experience with medication, therapy, coping mechanisms, recovery, and mindfulness. Transitions are so hard (especially in college), and no one should have to go through them alone! I also love to sing and go hiking.

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Juli - Recovery & wellness; lived experience with PTSD, sexual assault, recovering from trauma that occurred before arriving at college. Experience with healing through body-based approaches, writing, finding off-campus providers, and sexual violence prevention. Please feel free to reach out, I'm always here to listen!

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Hi! My name is Victor Julian Padilla, and I am concentrating in Neurobiology. I have lived experience with ADD, anxiety, and autism spectrum disorder.

Kitty - Mood/Personality Disorders; Generalized and Social Anxiety; Panic Attacks Depression; ADHD; Class of 2019, MCM and VISA major interested in socio-political change and art. I have experience with professional psychotherapy and have taken a number of different medications throughout the years. These include Zoloft, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Lithium, Xanax, Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, Lamictal, Klonopin, Adderall, and Lorazepam. I love to talk to others about their experiences and am happy to help wherever I can.

Cady - Chemical Biology ’19. Focus: anxiety and depression. Experience with CAPS, seeking off-campus therapy, and navigating health insurance barriers. Coping methods include writing, walking/hiking, and conversation.

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Emily — Aspiring high school teacher, lived experience with eating disorder, anxiety, depression, treatment (residential, PHP, IOP), drama and expressive arts therapy, CBT, DBT, working with CAPS and SEAS, finding off-campus resources, taking time off, and transferring schools. Always excited to meet new people and provide support!

Kat – Diagnosis: GAD; Lived experience with: depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation/planning, panic attacks, being first-gen + low income @ Brown, CAPS + outside therapy.

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Hi guys! My name is Jenny and I’m a sophomore concentrating in neuroscience and English! I’ve had lived experience with diagnosed depression and anxiety, eating disorders, body image issues, coping with loss of loved ones, and developing mechanisms to combat stress and panic attacks. Please feel comfortable and safe to contact me if you need to!

Paula - Depression/anxiety disorder. Focus: panic attacks, suicide prevention, seeking medical help, dealing with family & mental health, recovery, cultural barriers. I am also here to talk about other issues like cultural shock, being low income and/or a minority student at Brown, etc.

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Matt – Focus: Psychosis and hearing voices, Schizophrenia, Schizoid Personality Disorder, BPD, Bipolar Disorder and coping with mania, depression, social anxiety, panic disorders, perfectionism, self-harm, trust issues, loneliness, medication changes (antipsychotics, mood stabilizers, SSRIs, blood pressure medication for anxiety) and living without an official diagnosis. No one should have to suffer in silence, don’t be afraid to reach out!

Natalie - PTSD; Focus: PTSD, recovering from trauma, depressive responses to trauma, anxiety, stress management Resources used: therapy, yoga, writing, changing living location, research online and through memoirs/fiction/nonfiction, modifying academic workload, other coping mechanisms

Sophie -- Biology/English. Lived experience with: Depression, Eating Disorders (EDNOS), Abusive Relationships, Body Dysmorphia, Medication, LGBTQ. Focus: Stress management, Coping mechanisms, Body positivity, Exercise & Nutrition, Chronic pain management, LGBTQ advocacy.

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Julia: Pre-Pharm, Chemistry ‘21. I have lived experience with generalized anxiety disorder, panic attacks, emetophobia, and depression. I have an off-campus therapist, and have taken the following medications: Prozac, Lexapro, Ativan, and Gabapentin. I also have a cat named Luna. Talk to me about SEAS accommodations, emotional support animals, seeking an off-campus provider, academic planning, or whatever’s on your mind. Always here to listen.

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Cailin - Neuroscience '20 - Lived experience: complex PTSD from domestic violence and sexual assault, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and finding treatment for all of the above... Talk to me about involuntary hospitalisation, navigating on and off campus resources, recovery from toxic/abusive relationships, emotional support animals, dealing with family issues, navigating triggers, and chronic illness. I'm always happy to help!

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Megan -- Behavioral Decision Sciences '20. Lived experience with dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder, disordered eating, negative side effects of medications, & adjustment to a new climate. Happy to discuss: how to form healthy habits to better cope with low energy, loneliness, & procrastination; shifting your perception of health/success; finding a social circle on campus when you don't party/drink.

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Anna - Lived experience: OCD, anorexia, depression, social anxiety, mental illness in the family, finding an off-campus provider. Resources used: CBT, exposure therapy, yoga, humor. My door is always open, whether you’re seriously struggling or just want to chat.

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Aaron - Health & Human Biology '20. Lived experience with depression, self-harm, GAD, OCD, and related medications. Especially interested in offering support to LGBTQ peers, peers of color, and men who struggle with seeking help due to prevailing notions of masculinity. Off campus, I volunteer with Families for Depression Awareness. Nobody should have to face their challenges alone; I am here to speak with anyone who needs me.

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Amara - Sociology concentrator - Class of 2019 - Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Chronic Depression - Lived experience with medication, psychotherapy, mindfulness, meditation, family trauma, CBT, and finding a counselor/therapist off-campus. I am here to lend my ear and offer support and advice!

Dani- Religious Studies Diagnosis- lived experience with anxiety depression, panic attacks, floating-duck syndrome- always happy to be of service.

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Bailey - Neuroscience '20. Lived experience with eating disorders, OCD (with tics), depression, mood issues related to use of oral contraceptives, off-campus therapy, and CAPS. Favorite coping mechanisms include singing, running, yoga, and laughing.

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Zoe; Sophomore; Public Health OCD, Depression, Social Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety & Disordered Eating. Lived experience with sexual assault, self harm, medication, CBT, ACT, CAPS & finding off campus resources. I'm always here to listen.

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Anna '19.5 Anthropology and Pre Med. I have lived experience with chronic illness and chronic pain as it intersects with general mental health and anxiety. I have experience taking leave, learning to balance my own physical and mental health with traditional and alternative treatments, and working to communicate with friends and family. I am here to listen, encourage and provide any help I can.

Dorothy - Suicidal thoughts, ideas, coping; Focus: suicide prevention, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), anxiety, disordered eating, stress management, intersectional oppression, emotional abuse

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Elise – Math or Physics concentrator ’19; Lived experience with: anxiety and depression, suicidal and self-harm ideations, SSRI medication, talk therapy, transition from CAPs to off-campus support, long distance relationships, mood issues related to oral contraceptives, being an athlete at Brown, transition-induced stress, feelings of isolation; Resources Used: CBT, talk therapy, SSRIs, exercise, journaling, being with people.

Paula - Eating Disorders; In high school, I experienced -undiagnosed- EDNOS for about 2 years. I focus on the stigma surrounding EDs, how to approach friends + family, life without medical diagnosis, intuitive eating, yoga, meditation, body acceptance, body positive language, etc. I'm open to discussing my personal story with recovery, + hope that I can help others with similar (or perhaps not so similar) experiences.

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Paxon Chang; Eating Disorders and Mood Disorders; Experience: EDNOS, depression, self-harm, abusive/manipulative relationships, stress management, navigating diagnoses in POC communities; Resources: mindfulness, therapy, academic workload adjustment, positive coping mechanisms, managing slip-ups

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Sophie, Cognitive Neuroscience '19 Lived experience with anxiety, depression, ADHD and dealing with medication for all of the above- Also experienced with eating disorders, CBT, and cultivating well-being through positive psychology and mindfulness techniques.