The health center provides more than free band-aids

Saddleback College’s health center offers many useful, affordable services that you may not know about.

Saddleback College’s student health center is located in the Student Services Center on the first floor in room 177. At the end of every semester registration, you may have noticed that it includes a $15-$20 fee that helps fund the health center. However, most students never step foot in SSC 177 during their time at Saddleback for various reasons. Whether it is because of lack of need, already insured, or embarrassed, it is a good idea to pop in at least once to explore their services.

135 students around campus were asked the question: Have you ever used the health center for something other than a free band-aid or sanitary product? Only 12 students said they had scheduled an appointment to see a doctor. That is a mere 9 percent of those polled.

There are currently over 60,000 students enrolled in the South Orange County Community College District. Let’s do some quick maths: 60,000 x $20 = $1.2 million + the $350,000 grant from February 2018 = $1.55 million total. That is quite a lot of money being saved up and unused.

Some services they provide every day for students and faculty include free physical exams, help with addiction, domestic violence services, housing and food resources, LGBTQ+ support, STD treatment, mental health therapy, among many other services. From physical to sexual to psychological to therapeutic issues, the health center staff are trained to help all students and faculty with any problem they may be facing.

Another service they provide which is not talked about much is their health question hotline. They have 12 medical professionals including medical doctors who will answer any question students may have over the phone. The health hotline phone number is (949) 582-4606.

The health center also provides aid to the community in several ways. They fund and help at the food bank, run out of Fine Arts throughout each month and they assist in providing homeless students emergency housing. Another notable service that has impacted thousands of students since 1976 is DSPS.

The health center staff also work together with campus police for more serious issues. Their website is packed full of information about common medical problems and links to websites that can help students is well kept. For those that are embarrassed, it is best to check website first but for physical problems go in they will be happy to help you.

Last February the South Orange County Community College District received a grant of $350,000 dedicated to improving the mental health services on the community college campuses. In our modernizing society, where mental health is taken care of a lot more than the past, it may seem respectable that that large amount of money was donated to help students struggling with mental health issues. However, it is most likely not all being used for that.

A memo was sent to the faculty on campus shortly after the grant was given to the health center, promising prizes to any faculty that would decide to utilize the health center. It seems sort of suspicious that suddenly the health center, that seemed to struggle with bringing in patients, has now used the money they were given to help students, to instead reward faculty.

This issue is being ignored due to the fact that barely any students utilize the office they are funding during registration.

The center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. and until 3 P.M. on Fridays. The 12 medical professionals on staff are there to help any student or faculty with anything they need. Even if it is just a medical question or to take a look at a bruise on your arm, the center is there at your disposal.  

If you or anyone you know is interested in an appointment at the health center they accept walk ins and appointments. It is best to show up 10 minutes before you would like to be seen because of the few pages of paperwork first-time patients have to fill out.

They have a program called CARE which is an online service that students can utilize to submit a report concerning them or a friend. This is used by anyone that is unsure if they should seek medical attention, which will in turn save lives.

It is best to be proactive and catch things early and the student health center can help you while you wait for an appointment with your primary doctor or if you do not have health insurance at all.