By Denali Norton
The Student Health Center is now open four days a week and offers physical and mental health services through telehealth and in-person appointments.
The most important thing to know about the health center is that it is free for City College students when they pay the student health fee at the start of each semester. Since the start of the semester, the health center is back and serving the same number of students it had before the pandemic.
The reopening of the health center this semester for telehealth and in-person services has given students more options for accessing care, with telehealth and in-person services being used by students as well.
Since the start of the pandemic, many have started to get cold feet at the thought of going to the doctor or simply putting it off. This has led to some students falling behind on vaccinations or STI tests. These are both services offered by the Health Center and an excellent reason to visit.
“A silver lining of the pandemic may have extended to telemedicine,” said Jane Ernstthal, nurse practitioner and department director at the Student Health Center.
Mental health counseling is offered for a variety of different issues both in person at Ocean Campus and via telehealth, although it is not intended for long-term counseling. If necessary, the center will help connect you to someone who offers longer term support.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to get therapy without having to pay for it,” said Felicia King, licensed clinical social worker and chief mental health counselor.
Weekly support groups are also offered by mental health offices. They offer a variety of topics ranging from anxiety management to a women’s support group and more.
There is still availability to participate in support groups this semester although availability really depends on the semester. Some semesters are completely full while others have more vacancies. The health center website also offers a survey to provide information on the topics offered.
The Center also offers a range of physical health services ranging from reproductive and sexual health care to vaccinations and CalFresh application assistance. Specifically, the Family PACT program is a statewide program for low-income students who are most eligible for it. It offers free contraceptives, pregnancy tests, STI tests, pap smears and other reproductive and sexual health care through the health center.
“Through the Workforce Grant, Allied Health students can obtain physical exams, vaccinations, and blood tests required by their program at Student Health Services, free of charge,Ernstthal said.
Services extend even outside of the health center, as classes on sexual health and awareness of the center’s services are taught in City College classrooms. Flu vaccination clinics at other City College campuses are also available to help make vaccines available to students for the upcoming flu season.
Students may also be impressed by the size of the health center, which spans the large ground floor and functions as a full clinic. Including a reception area, several counseling rooms and numerous physical examination rooms and equipment for the services offered. “We have one of the largest community college health centers in the state,” King said.