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The Source

Wellness services expands office space to meet student need, hosts open house

February 21, 2012

To address an increase in the need for student health services, Wellness Services has expanded its offices into a new Health Promotion Suite in the lower level of Odell Residence Hall. Community members are encouraged to come to an open house and enjoy some treats on Tuesday, February 28, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wellness Services consists of the Student Health Service, the Counseling Service, and the office of Health Promotion and Wellness.

The Source sat down with John Hancock, associate dean of students, director of Wellness Services, and chief psychologist to learn more about how the new Health Promotion Suite will support students.

How have your offices been reorganized and which staff members have moved to the new Odell offices?

Last fall, I moved into the Odell suite from my former office in the Counseling Service in Templeton. Melissa Osmond, associate director for Health Promotion and Wellness, relocated from Albany into the Odell suite. Other offices in the new suite host a graduate assistant (Tavi Brandenburg), a health promotion graduate practicum student (Erica Ho), and part-time counseling and psychiatry staff. Plans are also under way to hire and house a dietitian in one of the offices for a few hours each week to offer nutritional counseling to students. Staff who have relocated to the Odell suite have retained their former phone extensions.

Please be advised that to enter the Odell suite, community members must swipe into the building using their ID cards, so be sure to carry your ID if you come to visit.  This procedure owes to the fact that all residence halls are protected by secure entry systems. During business hours, community members who forget their ID can use the phone at the building entrance to request access.

We have the exterior lower level Odell door set so that any student, faculty, or staff member can swipe into the building and access our suite during the workday.

What offices remain in the Templeton location?

The Counseling Service will continue to provide most clinical services from their offices on the lower floor of Templeton. Likewise, the Student Health Service will continue to provide all of its programs from its clinic in Templeton. So students who need services from Student Health or Counseling should be directed to the respective clinics on the lower level of Templeton.

How will this new office space better address student needs?

We are very excited about this suite. Student demand for our services has increased over the years, but our space has not. The creation of this suite allows us to further our goal of providing easy access to care so that students can be healthy and successful in their studies. We also plan to think creatively about how we can use the space to address other student needs for wellness programs. The relocation of the office of Health Promotion and Wellness to Odell has helped ease some of the crowding issues in Albany, so we’re happy about that, too. We want to give a big thank you to Facilities staff for helping plan the remodel, and all the architects and contractors who assisted. Thanks also to Campus Living and IT staff for their collaboration on the project.

Who is eligible for Wellness Services on campus?

Both Student Health and Counseling services are available to all students—undergraduate, law, and graduate. Most services (including counseling) are free, while there are modest fees for a few services. About 15 percent of Lewis & Clark students (20 percent of undergraduate students in residence) visit the Counseling Service each year. Our Health Promotion services tend to be focused on CAS students only, due solely to resource limitations.

Is there anything else new in Wellness Services?

As part of our ongoing efforts to reduce the risk of suicide, we are distributing suicide prevention brochures to all teaching faculty and to staff who have high levels of student contact. We encourage everyone to read the brochure. Also, we now offer a link to a confidential and anonymous online screening program. Students can use it to see whether they might be experiencing depression, alcohol use problems, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, bipolar disorder, or an eating disorder. Finally, as a pilot project, our Health Promotion Suite now offers loaner lights for students—lights that may help with seasonal mood fluctuations.