Students Helping Students fosters safe space for mental health discourse


Isabella McGovern, Assistant Magazine Editor

Students Helping Students is a student-run mental health organization that focuses on providing a safe environment for students to share their feelings and experiences while helping each other grow, feel supported and make friends. Meeting other students and making friends can be very difficult for some people. The organization feels that it can be the bridge for students to open up and interact with one another and help make members feel less alone. This new organization is on a mission to help students learn and address their mental health while creating a community of support and friendships. 

It all started with a GroupMe chat. Jonny Jendral is a freshman psychology major and the founder and creator of Students Helping Students. He created the group chat to check on everyone to see how they were doing, which later led to the idea of starting an organization where students could get to know one another while talking about their mental health struggles and not feeling alone.

 “It’s important for students because being alone with your thoughts is the worst thing that can happen to someone, and no one should be suffering in silence,” Jendral said. “No one should have to feel alone.”

The organization started in Fall 2021 and officially registered in early December. They hold meetings every Tuesday and Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays are support nights where Jendral asks the group a list of questions like, “What is one good thing that happened to you in the past week?” Or, “How can you improve your week?” The meeting also gives members the chance to share their current mental health issues in person. On Thursday nights, Students Helping Students has introduction night, where new people who are interested in joining the organization introduce themselves and discuss their struggles. After, they host a game night and sometimes play hide-and-seek in the McKinney Humanities building until 2 a.m.

Students Helping Students is in the process of creating more ideas for the organization for next semester. Their hopes are to host collaborative events with other UTSA organizations and to reach as many UTSA students as possible. Jendral is also thinking about collaborating with the Counseling Services on campus. Next semester, Jendral plans to create a board of officers with equally shared responsibilities so the organization will run smoothly. He wants to start fresh and create a more welcoming environment for new members. Jendral is also trying to start tabling to advertise the organization and is currently trying to find other outlets to let students know about Students Helping Students. A way he promotes Students Helping Students is by handing out slips with an inspirational quote, the national suicide hotline and the semicolon punctuational mark. 

“Mental health needs to be a bigger deal,” Jendral said. 

For more information, you can find the Students Helping Students organization page on RowdyLink or follow them on Instagram: @shsutsa.