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Health services at MU can help with medical, social and emotional issues

Thursday, July 29, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CDT
MU graduate student Rebecca Mowry receives an H1N1 vaccination from nurse Jessie Baylor in Memorial Union. The Boone County Health Department, along with the Healthy for Life: Atkins UM Wellness Program, gave free H1N1 vaccinations to MU students, employees and their families last winter.

You will most likely be at MU for four years.  Chances are you will get sick at least once.

MU has an extensive range of health services available to all students.  In addition to the Student Health Center, there are also places that focus specifically on mental and sexual health, as well as disability services and preventive care.

Health services at MU

  • MU Student Health Center:  Level 4, University Physicians Medical Building;  882-7481; studenthealth.missouri.edu
  • MU Counseling Center: 119 Parker Hall; 882-6601; counseling.missouri.edu
  • Sexual Health Advocate Peer Education Program: Level 4, University Physicians Medical Building; 882-1417;  http://studenthealth.missouri.edu/SHAPE
  • Disability Services Office:  S5 Memorial Union; 882-4696; disabilityservices.missouri.edu
  • Wellness Resource Center : 200 Bingham Commons; 882-4634; wellness.missouri.edu


Pre-paid health fee: All students taking six or more credit hours a semester must pay the pre-paid health fee. It is automatically deducted each semester and will appear on a student’s bill.

Students taking fewer than six credit hours may elect whether or not to pay the fee. 

The service covers office consultations with MU health-care providers. It does not, however, cover testing or medical procedures. 

For these instances, the Student Health Center strongly recommends that all students have their own health insurance to cover tests and procedures.

Students without health insurance may pay for certain services with cash, check or credit card, or have the expense charged to a student account.

The Student Health Center: The center is located on the fourth floor of the University Physicians Medical Building, within walking distance from most residential halls.  It operate from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesdays.

If students feel unwell outside of business hours, they may also call 882-7481 and speak to an after-hours nurse. 

According to the Student Health Center website, the center is staffed by certified physicians, nurse practitioners, licensed psychologists and certified health education specialists.

All students must make an appointment. Upon arrival, they should have their student ID card and student number available.

The center is also responsible for ensuring all students meet MU's immunization requirements.

All students at MU are required to be immunized against measles, mumps and rubella. Those living in residential halls must either be immunized against meningitis or sign a waiver stating that they have elected not to be immunized.

TB screening is also required for students identified as high-risk.  All necessary immunizations are readily available at the Student Health Center for a fee. 

Counseling: Located in Parker Hall, the MU Counseling Center assists students struggling to cope with emotional, social or academic problems.  It offers individual, couples and group counseling.

Every MU student is eligible for up to 12 sessions of counseling per year.  This free service is covered by an annual allocation of MU student fees. 

There are currently seven qualified clinical staff members working at the center, as well as four psychology interns, four clinical graduate assistants and four practicum counselors.

Although it can handle emergency walk-ins, the center recommends making an appointment.

The service is confidential, and student sessions will not be disclosed to anyone without permission.

SHAPE:  The Sexual Health Advocate Peer Education Program, or SHAPE, is an education program primarily staffed by peer educators.  SHAPE is located on the fourth floor of the University Physicians Medical Building, near the Student Health Center.

Peer educators are fellow students who have completed the class “WGST 2960 - Sexual Health Advocacy and Service Learning” as well as individual presentation training.

At any one time, 10 to 20 peer educators are involved in SHAPE programs.

The primary goal of SHAPE is to “provide students with the resources they need to be safe,” says Jessica Scott, outreach coordinator.

“We advocate for sexual empowerment, regardless of individual circumstances,”  she said.

Some programs are tailored to specific audiences, such as those living in residential halls or Greek houses.  Other programs are aimed at the student population as a whole.

Sexual Responsibility Week, for example, is an “annual event highlighting the importance of being responsible, safe, and healthy sexually,” according to the website.

SHAPE offers free HIV testing on campus on certain days of the year.  The office also makes available to students male condoms, female condoms and oral dams free of charge.

SHAPE also provides free male condom dispensers in six residential halls, including Gillett, Lathrop, Mark Twain, Bingham/Hatch, Wolpers and Center. 

Scott stressed that parents should not worry about their children being exposed to an unnecessarily sexualized environment.

“If your child has chosen to be abstinent, we will not try to talk them into anything else,” she said.

But parents also need to be realistic.  "About 60 percent of students starting college are already sexually active,” Scott said.

Disability Services: The MU Office of Disability Services can be found in Memorial Union. 

According to its website, the goal is to “provide academic accommodations and support within the resources of the university, which will ensure students with disabilities the opportunity to competitively pursue a college education, limited only by their abilities, not their disabilities.”

Services offered include adaptive equipment, alternative text formats, classroom assistants, course substitution, exam accommodations, housing accommodations, interpreters, reduced course loads and accessible transportation.

In order to be eligible for the services, students must complete an intake form, which is available at the Disability Services Office. Students also need to provide supporting documentation confirming the presence of a disability and how it impacts university life.

The Office of Disability Services also maintains the website accessibilitymap.missouri.edu, which helps students find accessible features on campus such as ramps, elevators and curb-cuts.

Wellness Resource Center:  Located in Bingham Commons, the center focuses on preventive health care.  Issues addressed by the center include drug and alcohol use, nutrition, fitness, self-esteem, stress, sleep, safe driving and mental health.

According its website, the center uses the theories of “responsible decision making, harm reduction, social norming and environmental management” to keep students safe and healthy.

The center delivers over 200 students programs each year in a range of locations including residence halls, Greek houses and classrooms. 

Additionally, it promotes wellbeing across campus using various publications, posters and displays.


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