End of Year Reflections by CEO Dr. Angela Glymph

Angela Glymph
As this calendar year winds down, let's take a moment to reflect on and celebrate our work.

2023-- what a year for Peer Health Exchange! As this calendar year winds down, let's take a moment to reflect on and celebrate our work. In communities across the U.S., Peer Health Exchange is filling a much-needed gap online and in schools. Young people in America are facing stress related to academic pressures, personal loss, global conflict, economic uncertainty, violence in schools, increasing threats to reproductive and gender affirming healthcare, growing anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, in addition to the crippling youth mental health crisis. In light of this, our mission to empower young people with the knowledge and resources they need to make informed decisions about their health has never been more important.

In September, I had the opportunity to meet parents, educators, students at a mental health townhall at a school in Cincinnati. I met Racquel who expressed a need for mental health education in her school, sharing her own trauma of losing her father. It was a pleasure to share our free resource selfsea.org with her, which has identity affirming resources on grief and trauma. To be able to provide on-demand resources with Racquel is the vision of our work realized.  

Over the course of the year, we’ve expanded health equity through our digital work and our work in schools, re-vamped selfsea.org to include customizable filters and localized resources, onboarded a new CEO, expanded the innovative peer-to-peer school-based program, expanded our Youth Advisory Board, which now has 51 active members, worked with our coalition partners to further our work, strengthened our One PHE brand, and more.

In 2023, we added 270,595 new selfsea users, bringing the cumulative total of the app's users to over 400,000! This, combined with our ongoing efforts in schools, has allowed us to reach an unprecedented amount of young people in a single year... making PHE history.  

This year, we’ve grown our incentivized peer-to-peer education program in high schools. The one-year-old model employs college-aged peer mentors, who formerly taught PHE health curriculum in the classroom, to train high schoolers to teach their peers. High school peer facilitators are boosting their confidence in the classroom and are finding success in building relationships with their peers around health. They undergo comprehensive training that covers the curriculum, professional development, public speaking skills, as well as knowledge of general public health and local health resources. The curriculum consists of topics of mental health, and/or sexual health, and/or substance use.  

We’ve demonstrated our unwavering commitment to serving young people in their schools and local communities. Our 20-year strong work in classrooms continues to thrive, providing comprehensive health education to approximately 15,000 young people annually. Our focus within this work is to deepen our impact and expand into new communities, guided by the invaluable voices of young people themselves. I look forward to embarking on that journey with all of you.  


CEO Dr. Angela Glymph