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Health center needs more changes

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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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1 Comment

One Response to “Health center needs more changes”

  1. Jordin on March 9th, 2018 12:18 pm

    This article is very ill informed. The reason there are entrance requirements such as screening for groups, is for ethical purposes. There is not a single closed group on campus that allows members to just come and go as they please. If they are allowing this, the group might be crossing ethical boundaries. It is also for the safety of all group members. Think about if random people just come and go as they please, how would the group leaders know who has a problem or doesn’t, they wouldn’t even be able to determine if the person was a student or not. This also goes with ethical concerns on members knowing what the group is about, how to conduct themselves in groups, and what is expected of them. As for the counseling center, are you going to provide the money to hire more counselors, as well as build them a new space so that they have room for said new counselors? The reason some people get put into every other week is because they either do not meet criteria to qualify for weekly counseling (i.e. their problem is not severe enough) or they request it for themselves. Please, do more research on the counseling center. If you had, you would know what their policies are, as well as policies for the whole counseling profession as regulated and there is a reason behind why things are done the way they are. Some situations require clients to only come in for a short time, to solve their problem. The goal of counseling is not to have someone be in there for life, this is unrealistic and not effective, as well as unethical. The goal for counseling is to address whatever problems are presenting and to help them move to a healing place, to be able to manage or cope outside of counseling. Before you spew unsubstantiated facts, do your research. This is only going to turn potential clients away from getting help because you want to get your biased opinion out there. People will take this for facts and they absolutely are not! you are doing a disservice to the entire campus by publishing piece after piece on the counseling center and how terrible it is. Try talking to actual counselors there instead of basing your research on hearsay and questionable opinions.

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Health center needs more changes