Mind + Matter


Abbie Wallace, Senior Staff Writer

Grossmont offers health services for mind and body.



Five days a week, tired, energized, stressed or relaxed, students walk through Griffin Center, enveloped in their thoughts surrounding life, school, work and other influencing events. As they near the back of the building, many pass the office unaware of the staff behind that door ready to provide convenient and student-friendly minor and mental health services.

Located in building 60, room 130, Student Health Services at Grossmont College aims to support and provide low cost services for mental health, health screening and minor first aid assessments. While there are no doctors to give prescriptions, the health office manages to provide students with impressive care when it comes to mental health. Of course, not every student will need Student Health Services, but it is comforting to know that they are available to help anyone who asks.

School is not the primary contributor to stress felt by college students. The incorporation of work, family, relationships and additional events are all factors that can impact anyone’s mental health, said Counselor Matthew Ring.

In fact, financial struggle is a stress factor largely unrelated to school. According to University Business Magazine, only 7 percent of four-year students experience struggle with loans and working more hours to support themselves or family while these financial stresses are normal for a majority of two-year college students.

Grossmont is able to provide various types of support ranging from one-on-one mental health counseling, core management services, crisis management and groups held each semester. A common concern with any health service is the cost and, as college students are notoriously known for having financial struggles, Student Health Services has kept that in mind. Ring assures students that the services are of “no cost to our students,” further elaborating that the programs are funded through student health fees paid at registration.

Student Health Services has the needs of the students in mind when it comes to finances. Grossmont student Alexcia Dore said that if she were ever in need of  mental health services she would use what the school provided “because it’s free.”

But when it comes to other health services like vaccines or minor first aid, some cost is required. Diane Woodson, supervisor or Student Health Services, said prices may vary but they try to keep them at low cost, again supporting their mission to ensure students are on the receiving end of the services.

The importance of having health services on campus is supported by staff and students, each with their individual reasonings. “Health Services is a safe zone that students can come to speak confidentially with staff regarding personal health problems or other interventions,” Woodson said, adding on that a main goal of Student Health Services is to keep students healthy so they can “reach their educational goals and attend classes.”

Sharing a similar idea, Grossmont student Kacee Fay said it’s important “because you’re here a lot, it’s like a safe place.” It is clear the view of Student Health Services as a secure place on campus is common among some staff and students.

Though Student Health Services is provided at school for students, the services and programs are not primarily focused on school-related stress. The various programs are offered to let students know they have a place at school to turn to when life gets rough. As mental health counselor Ring said, “Good self-care is important through life, regardless of school.”

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