Campus clinic assists students in need

The Health and Counseling Center offers a number of services for students, which can include regular check-ups, STD and STI testing, pregnancy testing, lab tests, and counseling services.

To be seen at the Heath and Counseling Center students have had to have paid the Health Center fee of $135 per Spring and Fall semesters, and $70 for the Summer semester. Students taking 9 or more credits at the university main campus are automatically charged the $135 fee, while those who are taking less than 9 credits will need to pay it to be seen at the center.

“[The fee] gets students into the door. Visits are ‘free,’” said Dr. BJ Aldrich, director of the Health and Counseling Center.

Though the initial visits are “free,” students still need to pay for any additional kind of work, such as lab tests and filling prescriptions. Aldrich said that the rates for labs and prescriptions are heavily discounted in comparison to any work that may be done off campus. This can be beneficial for students who otherwise do not have any health insurance.

The center’s website provides a list of common lab fees, some of which include—but are not limited to—urine analysis, urine pregnancy testing, strep screening, and mono testing. Vaccines and titers, such as MMR and PPD (tuberculosis skin test), are also available (and required for students living on campus).

“We can also dispense medication from the health clinic, such as birth control, antibiotics, mental health medication, and anti-depressants,” said Aldrich.

Among other services offered is STD and STI testing, which, according to Aldrich, are free.

The $135 fee also provides five free counseling visits for students per semester with one of three licensed counseling staff where students can discuss personal concerns or problems that they may be having. According to Aldrich, students who are homesick or have roommate issues, relationship issues, depression, may be stressed or have anxiety have sought counselling at the center.

“Those are very big reasons some people come to see a counselor,” said Aldrich.

According to the Health and Counseling Center’s website, if students have used their five free sessions, the counseling staff “will do their best to refer them to the most appropriate community resource.”

The Heath and Counseling Center offers after-hours counseling services for students who need immediate mental health care.

“If a student has an after-hours mental health crisis, we have an after-hours number they can call,” said Aldrich, “and it will hook them up with a counselling service we are contracted with and can help the student until a time they can be seen here.”

This service is available anytime the center is closed, which is in the evenings, on weekends, and during university holidays. For access to this service, the student can call the center’s phone number and follow the instructions for connection to the after-hours service.

Appointments for the Health and Counseling Center are available Monday through Friday and should be made in advance. The Health and Counseling Center is not a walk-in clinic; therefore, any same day appointments are reserved for students with acute illnesses and injuries. “Same day” appointments are on a first come first serve basis and open at 8 a.m. the day of the needed appointment.

Students can contact the Health and Counseling Center at 474-7043 or visit them on the second floor of the Whitaker Building at 1788 Yukon Drive. More information can be found at http://uaf.edu/chc/

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