A few weeks ago, people across America celebrated Veterans Day in honors military personnel who served in the United States Armed Forces, but sometimes life after service isn’t easy. That’s where Sharmin Prince comes in. As the program director for veterans services at Volunteers of America-Greater New York, Sharmin is running the Battle Buddy Bridge, a peer-to-peer program that trains veterans to help other veterans deal with a mental health diagnosis.
“In basic training, you are taught to rely on your battle buddy — you never walk alone. Once you’re discharged, you lose that camaraderie,” said Prince, who is a veteran herself. “There is recovery, there are possibilities beyond the diagnoses.”
Sharmin has graduated four training classes since last year, totaling 43 graduates from all over the military, including Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard. The training takes place over five full days, followed by six to eight weeks of working with a fellow veteran who needs help.
They learn about mental illness, the importance of peer support … They don’t diagnose, they don’t talk about medication. They’re trained to focus on sharing their recovery story,” she said, adding that the program helps “our veterans to embrace: embrace their diagnosis, understand there is recovery from a mental diagnosis and they can help other veterans. www.amny.com
Sharmin, who is passionate about addressing mental health issues, also hosts a radio show and a podcast on her YouTube Channel, called “Talk Time With Sharmin.”
A Certified Professional Life Coach (CPC), she founded “Sharmin Prince Life Coaching” in 2013. Throughout her career, Sharmin saw how women were burdened, stressed and sacrificed being their authentic selves to maintain their status quos. Sharmin made these assessments over time through her discussions, interactions, women workshops, and personal experiences and decided that it was time to make a difference.
In 2017, Sharmin founded two nonprofit organizations; one in the US and one in Guyana to address social needs and problems in Guyana, the Caribbean, and around the world. In the last four years, Sharmin has held workshops and conferences for women discussing topics such as “Empowerment, Embracing Your Authenticity, No More Masks, and Identifying Who You Are Without the External Labels”. She provides mentoring and virtual individual/group coaching to women who are survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) in Trinidad and Grenada. Sharmin is also known in Grenada for her CSA advocacy during a visit in April 2017 and was invited to speak at an event in October 2017 in commemoration of CSA awareness month. On her talk show, Sharmin is known for asking hard questions and discussing topics that are considered taboo.
Sharmin is currently a Ph.D. candidate in General Psychology, with an emphasis in Cognition and Instruction at Grand Canyon University. She has a Master of Science Degree from Nyack College in Organizational Leadership, a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from CUNY York College and a Diploma in Social Work from the University of Guyana.
For more information, or to contact Sharmin, visit her website at www.sharminprince.com.