With the constraints surrounding COVID-19 and limited face-to-face interactions, The University of New Mexico’s Student Health and Counseling Health Promotion team has taken the initiative to find a new way to reach students, a podcast called HonesTea with SHAC HP.

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“Given the pandemic, we had to get very creative and transition all of our health promotion programming and projects to a virtual, online capacity,” SHAC Health Promotion Communication and Marketing Manager Tiffany Martinez-Durant said.

After researching podcasts at other institutions, SHAC’s Health Promotion (HP) team said the one requirement it had was to bring forth honest conversations.

“Facts only. Real knowledge. That’s where the ‘honest’ part in the title came from,” Martinez-Durant said. “We just wanted to create a space where students could feel included, be given correct information, and a place where they could go for resources.”

The “tea” portion is a reference to the phrase “spilling the tea” or a tease to spilling good information, a suggestion from Chris Naranjo, a SHAC student employee.

“We’re giving you honest conversation but spilling the tea with SHAC HP. We’re health professionals so it’s a must that we provide the actual resources,” Martinez-Durant said.

Martinez-Durant, Naranjo and SHAC’s Education Associate Leah Adent lead the podcast every week; its ninth episode will be released Thursday. The team has covered the following topics.

  • College during a pandemic
  • Sex education during a pandemic
  • Stress Management
  • Lobo Prevention Pack
  • Fall Eats and Healthy Treats
  • Living through a “twin” pandemic
  • Midterms got you shulmped?

“Our main focus is to address every component of the wellness wheel including, spiritual, financial, physical, social and nutritional; all the different components of what makes us healthy,” Martinez-Durant said. “Other times we just need to be able to sit there and have fun with each other and our audience.”

Martinez-Durant said if they share any type of recipe, exercise or resource that Lobos can use, the team is sharing everything on its Instagram feed and stories @UNM_SHAC.

“While we are just getting started, I feel like we’ve created a podcast, an environment if you will, that makes you feel like you’re in a room talking with friends,” Martinez-Durant said. “I see this continuing even after the pandemic. This is about meeting our students where they are at, so we’ll continue to produce these podcasts until students are no longer there.”