“Sunday night, politicians in Washington passed a historical bill to change the way American insurance companies run, but for the 12,000 visitors to the University of Akron Wellness Center nothing much will change. The Wellness Center serves 300 students a week and the majority come for general illness, mental health and immunizations.””
Sunday night, politicians in Washington passed a historical bill to change the way American insurance companies run, but for the 12,000 visitors to the University of Akron Wellness Center nothing much will change.
The Wellness Center serves 300 students a week and the majority come for general illness, mental health and immunizations. A visit to the wellness center is free and the center passes the cost of prescription and tests onto the students.
Because of the low cost of the clinic, many students visit even though they have health insurance.
While students are on campus the Wellness Center often serves as their primary care.
Diane Fashinpaur, director of the center and certified family nurse practitioner, estimates that at least 50 percent of students at the University of Akron have insurance.
Every visitor to the Center must fill out a questionnaire regarding the reason
for their visit, their medical history and their health insurance status.
Fifty percent of visitors answer that they do have health insurance, 20 percent answer they do not have health insurance and about 30 percent did not answer. Fashinpaur said that people may refuse to answer for fear that they would not be treated.
The Wellness Center treats everyone who is a student at the University regardless of their insurance status.
Fashinpaur cites the major concern for college students: stress.
In a survey administered to 900 students last year, the majority of students listed stress and anxiety as their major health concerns.
Stress and anxiety are normal human emotions. If left unchecked for a long time people can become depressed or anxious, Fashinpaur said.
People need to do the best they can to balance their responsibilities; we’re all different and we need to know how much we can handle.
Last year, 600 students visited the Wellness Center for mental health concerns. Students may be evaluated at the Wellness Center, which works closely with the Counseling Center in Simmons.
There is currently no charge to visit the Wellness Center or Counseling Center for mental health counseling and the Wellness Center can also prescribe appropriate medications for a student with depression or other mental illness.
Fashinpaur also said that many people point to drug and alcohol abuse as major health concerns on college campuses. They are biggies, she said. But a lot of them use alcohol and drugs to deal with their anxiety.
She added, Young people are lacking some sort of spirituality. A way to connect with the greater scheme, with others, to themselves. Spirituality is how people find themselves fitting into life.