Post-secondary students seem to lack full knowledge of services available on campus

Post-secondary institutions across Calgary fear that students aren’t utilizing the entirety of their health services.

“It’s shocking, yet so common for me to find out how little students know about the entirety of the services we provide here at the clinic,” said Francesca Mancini, wellness services administrator in charge of health services and optimal therapies at MRU.

Connor Tennant, a business administration student at MRU, said he has never used the clinic before.

When Mallory Trepanier, a second year psychology student at MRU was asked if she knew what range of services were offered to her from her school’s clinic, she answered, “no.”

“I can’t say I know a whole lot. I’m only aware that there are a lot of services offered to students,” she said.

Trepanier, who has been involved with sports almost her whole life, had a serious knee injury a couple years ago that required her to see a physiotherapist for about two years.

She was frustrated with her experience.

“Booking appointments was really challenging. With my physiotherapist having so many patients I often found myself missing school just because he didn’t have any other times available,” she said.

Mancini said her clinic offers the freedom to students due to a controlled number of patients for the services provided.The Encana Wellness Centre at MRU includes services from doctors, nurses, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and a number of specialized therapists.

Photo by: Aaron Johnson

“We like to think that our wait times are less. We believe that our appointment based system is a real advantage to both us and students,” she added.

“You can book your appointment according to your schedule so you know you can have an appointment in between classes.”

Another obstacle that Trepanier found was the high cost for each session with her previous specialist.

“I was fortunate enough to have my parents pay for my appointments, but I know that my overall therapy cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars,” she said.

“That’s really the reason why I stopped. I would still be getting therapy if I could, but it simply costs too much.”

MRU currently has an insurance program that has been implemented into full-time students’ fees that covers them for such services up to $400 per year.

“We see alumni at the Grad Send Off event who had no idea that they had access to $400 each year they were here,” Francesca said.

She said the most common situations they see from students are sexual health concerns. Colds, flu, and mental health concerns are also common.

“It’s shocking, yet so common for me to find out how little students know about the entirety of the services we provide here at the clinic.”  – Francesca Mancini, wellness services administrator at Mount Royal University.

In statistics released by the Canadian Mental Health Association in 2010, it is estimated that 10 to 20 percent of Canadian youth are affected by mental illness or disorder.

“We’ve grown throughout the years and we now see ourselves seeing around 9,000 patients per year,” Mancini said.

“It’s becoming a little more de-stigmatized. People are seeking help from healthcare professionals from either public healthcare or from here at the clinic.”

The Encana Wellness Centre at MRU includes services from doctors, nurses, chiropractors, acupuncturists, and a number of specialized therapists.

Further information about the centre’s services is available at mtroyal.ca/CampusServices/WellnessServices

ajohnson@cjournal.ca