While technically adults, many college students are developmentally in a transition state between childhood and adulthood. Many are at least still partially supported by their parents. Most college students could use plenty of help with many of the practical aspects of adulthood from cooking for themselves to avoiding falling into credit card debt. Health is one of those things, and there are a lot of ways that colleges work to support student health and resources available to students.
Campus Health Care
Most campuses have on-campus clinics that make health care for students convenient and affordable. However, there are ways to make it even easier to access. Telehealth can be part of a complete care solution for campus health and offers a number of advantages to college students. Telehealth makes it easy for students to check in if they are having symptoms but uncertain whether they need to follow up with an in-person appointment. It can also be more convenient for students who are reluctant to visit the on-campus clinic in person because of time or for other reasons. Telehealth can be used for both physical and mental health concerns.
Students who have mental or physical disabilities have some protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Like employers, colleges are required to make reasonable accommodations for students. The request for accommodation is done through a campus disability office, not by talking to individual faculty. Students are protected by confidentiality. They should be aware that there are limits to what a college will consider reasonable, but these are decided on a case-by-case basis. Their campus disability office can provide more thorough and specific information for students.
Most colleges are much more proactive when it comes to mental health concerns than they were in earlier decades. This often starts at orientation, when students are given information and resources. This can help students feel more comfortable seeking help and reduce any stigma they may feel around the issue. Some schools offer free mental health screenings. Many colleges also work hard to raise awareness and offer innovative programs, such as online simulations, that train students to recognize when they or their friends may be struggling. Some colleges also offer students a multitude of ways to reach out for help, such as by texting.
Both physical and mental health conditions can often be exacerbated by stress, and many colleges also increasingly offer programs to students better manage stress. In some cases, students simply need reminders and reinforcement about the importance of getting enough sleep and eating nutritiously. In other cases, they need to be taught specific stress management skills. There might be overlap with other types of skills as well. For example, students may be struggling with stress because they manage their time or money poorly or because they need better study habits.
Many colleges also make sure that resources are available that help students live a healthier lifestyle. This might include plenty of space on campus for recreation and healthy food choices as part of the meal plan.
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