Here on campus, there are many free health services available to students, but the majority of them are unknown and underutilized according to Kim Baranek, Director of the Wellness and Community Outreach (in the Division of Student Life). The main resources and programs are: Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS), Wellness and Community Outreach, the Community Health Resource Center (formerly the Women’s Health Resource Center) and the Mills Student Health Center.
Baranek added that the the main reason students postpone pursuing wellness issues is due to a lack of time and inconvenience. However, if needed, there are a variety of options available for students to squeeze in some time get some aid and care. Counseling and Psychological services (CPS) provides 8-10 free counseling appointments per student, per academic year. The Counseling Center also provides workshops, referrals to additional resources and on-campus assistance to students with all their mental health needs.
The Wellness and Community Outreach Office is another free resource that can help students with anything from navigating their own personal health insurance to legal and financial support. It’s a starting place for any and all students who are experiencing troubles but are unsure of where or what type of help they might actually need.
“Mills staff is here to support students in whatever they might be challenged with, from physical and mental health issues to supporting the whole well-being of all students,” said Kim Baranek, director of the program.
Yui Ueno, a second year M.B.A. student, has his own insurance health plan and was unaware of all the free resources Mills provides.
“I didn’t know Mills had a center where I could go for free,” he said. “I didn’t know any of these resources existed.”
After hearing about his health options as a student, Ueno said he was curious about where the health centers were located so he could find them if he needed to sometime in the future.
Mills requires all students to have an insurance health plan either through the Mills-Kaiser paternership or through their own personal insurance health plan, but there are all these extra programs that students can take advantage of.
The Community Health Resource Center is a peer-run center which provides free pregnancy tests, safer-sex supplies and information on all aspects of healthcare, from sexual health to crisis information.
And there’s also the free clinic. The Mills Student Health Center is a student health center operated by Kaiser through which all students may receive unlimited physical exams at no cost. The clinic does not require students to have the Kaiser student health insurance plan in order to receive these benefits, only a valid Mills ID. The clinic takes walk-ins, but appointments are highly recommended. In addition to providing access to physicians, the Health Center also has a health educator available for assistance with smoking cessation, nutrition and stress management.
All of the services above are located in the Cowell Building, with the exception of the Student Health Center, which is located in CPM 117. To find out more about these programs, stop by the Cowell building or go online to: http://www.mills.edu/student_services/health_and_counseling/index.phpy.
Health Matters is a column written by the second year nursing students participating in the Nursing Leadership Class.