BY JACOB SCHULTE
Photo courtesy of Jacob Schulte. Left to right: Elizabeth Goold, assistant director of clinical services and Christie Wickstrand R.N.
Getting proper medical help can be difficult and confusing for anyone, especially a stressed-out college student. COD’s Student Health Center is available for all students and wants everyone to stay healthy during these stressful college years.
The center is located on the first floor of the Cravens Student Center on the Palm Desert campus and provides free basic medical services. Elizabeth Goold, the assistant director of clinical services at the center said, “our goal is to help students optimize their mental and physical health. We know a student will achieve better if students are fit and mentally well,” said Goold.
The center has a licensed RN on duty Monday through Friday on the main campus in Palm Desert. One of the nurses is Christie Wickstrand. She provides services including health evaluations, first aid, health education, vaccinations, vision screenings, tuberculosis (TB) tests, doctor referrals and low-cost vaccines.
Student Health Services also provides mental health services. “We have free therapy on the main campus five days a week and on the Indio campus once a week,” Goold said. “All you need is to be an enrolled student and have your student health fee paid.” If it is needed, the center will help students find an appropriate agency.
When asked about the state of mental health care, Goold said she sees positives changes in recent years such as the 24/7 mental health center that opened in Palm Springs in 2016. “Mental health services are improving, but there is still a large need because of the increase of mental health issues with the younger generation.”
Goold referred to data from the American College Health Association-National College Assessment Test, a nationwide survey that assesses student health and behavior.
Goold said they don’t know why exactly mental health issues like depression and anxiety are increasing, but that technology, especially social media, could be a factor if it is causing people to become socially isolated as some studies have shown.
COD’s Student Health Center focuses on both physical and mental health. They treat both as sometimes the two go hand in hand. “Mental health isn’t just about therapy, it’s about exercising, eating right and having a good support group,” said Good.
The Student Health Center is located on the first floor of the Craven Student Services Center. It is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and every other Fridays from 9 a.m. – noon. For more information call 760-776-7211.