The University of Saskatchewan has offered health care to students since the 1920s, but this September, health care will be even more comprehensive and accessible to students than ever before.
Beginning Sept. 5, Student Health Services and Student Counselling Services will become one entity called the Student Wellness Centre that will encompass both physical and mental health. The Wellness Centre will be on the third and fourth floors of Place Riel and will provide holistic health care to students, spouses and dependents.
The Wellness Centre provides a range of services to students, including doctor’s appointments for physical health care, mental health counselling, nutritional counselling and sexual health care. On top of these core services, they also offer physiotherapy, massage therapy and chiropractic care.
Jocelyn Orb, the Student Health Services manager, describes the Wellness Centre’s role at the university. “We’re a primary health clinic. We’re multidisciplinary, so it’s about providing holistic care to students and their families, while they’re here doing their studies,” Orb said.
The new amalgamated Wellness Centre will combine all services under one banner.
In the past, Counselling Services has focused exclusively on mental health, while Health Services has focused on physical health. By consolidating the two centres, students are now offered a more comprehensive health-care centre.
For students, taking care of mental health is just as important as taking care of physical health. The new Wellness Centre offers counselling services to help students with a range of mental health problems, including but not limited to anxiety, depression, relationship issues and crises situations.
The services at the Wellness Centre are offered to all students registered in at least one class, their spouses and dependent children, as well as some University of Regina students.
Orb discusses the costs of the services to students.
“There’s no cost for students for the core activity of the Wellness Centre,” Orb said. “If they’re coming to see a physician or nurse, or coming for counselling or to see a dietician, there is no cost. But if they’re coming for massage, physiotherapy or chiropractic care, those are three things that [have a] fee.”
The fees for these three services are kept as low as possible for students. For a first-time visit for chiropractic care or physiotherapy, the charge is $55, and follow-up visits are $40. For massage therapy, the fees are $35 for 30 minutes, $45 for 45 minutes or $55 for 60 minutes.
Students can phone in to make appointments or come to the front desk on either the third or the fourth floor to register and make an appointment. Students can also come into the Centre for urgent care during its operating hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
Orb explains that the Wellness Centre is there for students who are experiencing a crisis, too.
“If it’s an urgent or crisis situation, we do everything that we can to have them seen that day,” Orb said.
The staff at Health Services and Counselling Services have been working towards making the new Wellness Centre as accessible for students as possible, no matter what kind of health care they need.
“We’re changing our intake system on Sept. 5, as part of the new Student Wellness Centre,” Orb said. “We want to make it more accessible and easier for students to get in for an appointment, whether it’s for a physical health need or a mental health need.”
The Wellness Centre is a great resource for students, and Orb encourages students to either phone in or visit the Centre in Place Riel to register for health-care services. Most of the services are free of charge, and the location is convenient for students attending classes on campus.
For any kind of health care you may need, visit the Wellness Centre to gain access to everything they have to offer students.
“The campus is focusing more on overall wellness,” Orb said. “We’re not just a walk-in clinic where you come if you have a sore throat. You can do that, but there’s a lot of other services and a lot of other supports.”
Lyndsay Afseth / Staff Writer
Photo: J.C. Balicanta Narag / Photo Editor