Health center needs more changes

Opinion+columnist+Brenna+Wolfe+offers+a+few+ideas+that+she+says+will+improve+the+Health+Center%2C+making+it+more+accessible+for+students.
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Health center needs more changes

Opinion columnist Brenna Wolfe offers a few ideas that she says will improve the Health Center, making it more accessible for students.

Opinion columnist Brenna Wolfe offers a few ideas that she says will improve the Health Center, making it more accessible for students.

NI ARCHIVES

Opinion columnist Brenna Wolfe offers a few ideas that she says will improve the Health Center, making it more accessible for students.

NI ARCHIVES

NI ARCHIVES

Opinion columnist Brenna Wolfe offers a few ideas that she says will improve the Health Center, making it more accessible for students.

BRENNA WOLFE, Opinion Columnist

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The Student Health Center has made some great changes and additions to better serve our students in the past few years. I applaud their efforts.

Great new additions include: 1) The new support groups for anxiety, grief and transition; 2) Wellness Wednesdays cover important, interesting topics and seem successful and 3) the ability to call after hours and speak to a counselor on call.

I love to see these positive changes for the Student Health Center, but I think more can be done to better serve our students. I believe the Student Health Center should add online appointments, provide doctor’s notes, allow easy entrance to support groups, start students with weekly counseling appointments and add more counselors.

My first suggestion is to allow students to make online appointments. Many doctors’ office and student health centers offer this convenient option.

College students are very busy during business hours, so it can be difficult to make time for a phone call. The online option would be a quick way to get an appointment.

In addition, if a student notices an earache at 10 p.m., they can make an appointment online right away. This is a great service for our students, and I highly encourage the Student Health Center to provide online appointments.

My second suggestion is to provide doctor’s notes for students.

During the fall semester, I was informed that the practitioners do not give out doctor’s notes. This rule may have changed since then, and I hope it has.

However, if this has not changed, that is terrible for students’ academic success. Many professors require doctor’s notes for absences, and students can lose attendance points without doctor’s notes.

That means if a student needs a doctor’s note, they would have to travel off campus and pay insurance fees at another doctor’s office. This is out of reach for students who don’t have insurance.

By not providing doctor’s notes, we are inconveniencing our students’ time and money. Writing out doctor’s notes is a quick, easy change that would benefit our students’ grades.

In addition, the support groups should have looser entrance requirements. Most public support groups allow people to come and go as they please. The counseling support groups recommend that you call and be screened before attending.

For the anxiety support group, many people with anxiety hate making phone calls, and this would be a barrier to attending. We should allow open attendance to the support groups.

The next suggestion is to change attitudes towards the length of therapy. I have heard UNI counselors and staff say that counseling is a short-term solution for students, and that is completely wrong.

Some people have therapy for a lifetime, and that is very beneficial to them. I would like to see the Student Health Center treat therapy as a long-term solution, not just the thing to do when times are bad.

Lastly, we need to normalize having therapy once a week. When a person starts counseling at the health center, they are expected to do appointments once every two weeks.

While this can be beneficial for a lot of people, most therapists want to meet with their new client once a week for a period of time. This is to build a relationship with the client.

The counseling center does not have enough counselors to have weekly appointments for new students. We need more counselors in order to normalize the practice of starting with weekly appointments.

With these changes, the Student Health Center would be more accessible, convenient and beneficial to our student body.

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