Student Health services will be available throughout summer

Students can opt in to the Summer Health Fee if they are not in summer classes.

Chief Campus Health Officer Dr. Sarah Van Orman advised students to take advantage of Student Health resources with their extra time in the summer. (Emma Silverstein / Daily Trojan)

Student Health services — including primary care, specialty services and mental health counseling — will continue supporting students during the summer, Chief Campus Health Officer Dr. Sarah Van Orman said in a briefing with the Daily Trojan on May 22.

Summer can be a good time for students to check in on their health, Van Orman said, and consider practicing a new healthy habit — such as daily exercise, nutrition, meditation or sleep.

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“Many of our students — they get really busy during the year [and] maybe don’t have time to have general preventive health services … [or] to see somebody about [a health issue] … We have students who might have been struggling with mental health issues over the semester but haven’t seen anyone,” Van Orman said. “Those are all great things to think about seeking out health services over the summer.”

Students can also access services for acute care or routine medical visits, including annual physical exams, immunizations and recommended preventive care screenings.

“As students move through their career, maybe they don’t go home for the summer … [and] they move away from a previous primary care provider,” Van Orman said. “That’s something available through Student Health — not just if you’re sick or have an illness or injury — but also just [to] get routine services.”

As Student Health services remain available, Van Orman encouraged students to consider summer health risks — including greater ultraviolet radiation exposure — and take preventive health measures.

“People may be outside [and] exposed to sun more, so just [be] mindful about sunscreen, UV protective clothing and wearing hats … to reduce your long-term risk of skin damage as well as skin cancer,” Van Orman said.

If students have a new partner, preventive health behaviors — as appropriate — are recommended, including using condoms, being tested and considering PrEP — pre-exposure prophylaxis, a medication prescribed to prevent contracting HIV. Students can schedule an appointment with campus health providers for relevant health services during the summer.

As students leave campus for the summer, Van Orman said that mixed feelings may accompany change — and campus mental health services remain available for support.

“For some students [returning home], it feels odd [when] they have to renavigate [and] negotiate relationships with their family [and] friends … [and] it sometimes can feel hard or lonely,” Van Orman said. “Seek out help if you need it, but just recognize it’s part of the change you’re going through.”

Counseling and Mental Health Services offer therapy appointments, nonclinical “Let’s Talk” sessions and health workshops — for stress-management skills, restorative sleep tips and support for students who may be experiencing depression or anxiety. Students can schedule services and workshops via mySHR.

If not enrolled in summer term classes, students can opt in to the Summer Health Fee to access Student Health services — and those residing in California remain eligible for telehealth visits.

“Students might be out-of-state … [and] they’re not sure what to do — they [may] need help navigating, locating a healthcare provider or [continuing treatment] for a health care condition,” Van Orman said. “Reach out to us, and even if we can’t provide direct services, we will be glad to help you figure out what’s the next best step to get connected to care.”

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