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Student Wellness

Both employers and employees struggle with health insurance costs. While most people think of doctors' visits when they think of health insurance, mental health and substance abuse treatment fall under the same umbrella. A recent study by a group of Harvard researchers from the Cambridge Health Alliance, found treatment coverage for medical school students is on the low end of the scale. Of the 115 med schools analyzed, fewer than 22 percent provide students with complete coverage, without co-pays or coinsurance, for mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Think that a vegan diet is an oxymoron in cattle country? Not so at the University of North Texas, which has made following a plant-based diet very much a reality by building the Mean Greens dining hall. The idea for the vegan-only hall was developed out of student demand, and served an average of 4,500 students a day in the first week after opening August 22, shares Ken Botts, director of special programs for UNT Dining Services. “Students vote with their feet,” he says. “By showing they really, really liked it, we knew we made the right decision.”

As I watch seemingly happy, healthy students return to campus to start the fall semester, I cannot help but wonder what troubling emotions may be behind their beaming smiles. My curiosity is supported by the American College Counseling Association's recent survey finding the emotional health of incoming freshmen at a record low.

 
 
 

THERE IS A NEW "SIN" INDUSTRY on college campuses. It’s not beer, fast food, or tobacco. It’s water! Universities around the nation have begun to deny students the option of drinking bottled water, removing it from vending machines and campus stores.

 

IN THE MEDIA, FINANCIAL aid coverage tends to focus on topics such as the tensions between funding merit scholarships versus need-based grants, the growth in student and parent borrowing, and the need to increase funding for Federal Pell Grants. Federal or state work-study programs get little focus.

What’s hot for today’s engineering students? What’s really hot is the emerging field of assistive technologies. Combining professional career fields like robotics, electrical and mechanical engineering, computer science, and occupational health, a new breed of polytechnic programs are serving up state-of-the-art, adaptive technology courses for civically engaged engineering students who want to make the world a better place for the disabled.

 
 

ALL YEAR LONG, BUT THROUGHOUT the colder months in particular, health care needs inevitably arise. But for college students, particularly those in traditionally underserved minority groups, access to health care may be as slippery as the roads they come to school on.

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