College district adds $20 student fee for health services

The Los Rios colleges are now adding better health services, including new reproductive and mental health services, available on campus and district wide starting next semester.

College Nurse Michelle Barkley said the new student health services will be fully implemented next fall and is being provisionally put into effect starting January.

“My goal is that we’d be able to offer these services everyday to all college students,” Barkley said.

The fee will be $20 for each semester not including summer semester, no fee is required then at Cosumnes River College, and Barkley said every dollar will be used to support the expansion of services and new staffing.

In a proposition sent from health services to College President Ed Bush, the proposed changes to the addition of health services offered will include hiring a full time nurse practitioner, a full time health assistant and hiring a full time mental health coordinator/professional. The health services office hopes to have a part time physician on campus to provide services that only licensed physician can offer.

The proposed services will vary from campus to campus, and are only being offered at CRC and Sacramento City College for the time being.

The services will include mental health assistance with a program called Well Spaces, which is being paid for by a California mental health grant, according to the proposition.

Reproductive services are also in the works to include STI testing, pregnancy testing and reproductive counseling at least one day a week, according to the proposition sent to the college.

Reactions have been mainly positive for the new services proposed to the student population at CRC.

Twenty-two year-old nutrition studies major Ambroshia Dunn said “I already have health insurance, so I don’t think I’ll use those services,” Dunn said. “I think it should be paid for by student to student that require more of those services.”

Nineteen-year-old studio art major Jocelin Wing said that she thinks the services will be beneficial to some students but not all.

“I believe it would be good for some people that would need the help,” Wing said. “I’m not in that situation, but it’s nice to know its there just in case.”

English as a Second Language Professor Sandra Cater said she thinks it’s a necessity on a college campus.

“It’s a great service,” Carter said. “They should have more than one mental health professional. With a student population this size, there should be about four or five mental health professionals here.”

Carter said that she will encourage more students to go to the health services office more, now that they can offer mental health services to those students in need.

“We want to help and look at the needs of the community so that we can provide the best care we can,” said Barkley.

Barkley said that she hopes once the services are implemented, that more students will get the word about what is available and are willing to come get treated easily and quickly, so that they can focus more on their studies.

A 31-year-old computer science major, Shane Harris said, “Yea it’s possible that I’d use them, having a place to go and get checked out.” He also said, “it’ll help a lot to keep students to stay healthy.”