SGA: Swell Services At Barnard
Written by Caroline Montgomery
Last was a night completely dedicated to informing the student body about all the health services available at Barnard. The guests were MJ Murphy from Primary Health Care, Mary Commerford from Furman, Jessica Cannon from Well Woman, and Carolyn Corbran from the office of Disability Services (ODS). As a frequent user of the services, I can personally say they have their ups and downs, but there is no doubt that the women in charge of each health sector are dedicated to making sure students are receiving the best help possible. Each gave a brief overview of what they do.
Primary Health Care is your “in house doctor” at Barnard. At Primary Health Care there is a full staff capable of completing services from immunization to gynecological work. A common misconception is that a student cannot use the Primary Health Care services unless she/he uses Athena insurance. This isn’t true–everyone can use the services and they are all free! The only time a student will get charged or her insurance will get charged is if there is any sort of outsourcing that needs to be taken care of (for example blood work). Primary Health Care has walk in hours every morning from 9 am to 11:30 am and in the afternoon there are appointments available, as well as travel visits. To clarify some confusion about something very important, CAVA (or CUEMS as it is now called) is free! You will only be charged for an ambulance ride if you call 911 in an emergency and that costs about $950…so don’t do that.
Furman is the office dedicated to mental health and wellness. Furman offers short-term therapy as well as several other support groups. A few examples are a healthy eating habits group, a group dedicated to the grieving of a death, a social anxiety group, and a crisis intervention and support group. Of course, Furman also gives referrals to other therapists outside of Barnard as well. It came up that some students do not feel comfortable going to Furman, because they know they cannot afford a therapist outside of Barnard. Mary Commerford was very clear that all measures would be taken to assure that the student received the help she might need at a price that was affordable. Furman has a large network of doctors who often do pro bono work. Price should never be an issue when debating whether or not to go to Furman!
Well Woman is the wellness umbrella service at Barnard. At Well Woman they do everything from de-stressing by decorating cupcakes to peer support about any issues you may have. Well Woman is primarily run by student volunteers and has drop-in hours many evenings. If you are interested in applying to be a Well Woman volunteer, look for an application early next spring!
Finally, the Office of Disability Services. ODS takes care of all longterm disabilities that largely impact your life inside and outside of the classroom. Currently, about 425 students are registered with ODS, including students with needs ranging from dietary restrictions to specific housing accommodations, as well as those with invisible disabilities. The process of registering with ODS can take a while, but the women that work in the office are more that willing to help. The first step would be to call the office and arrange a meeting. A list of all required documentation can be found here.
Doctor and Bear (Millie?) via Shutterstock