Photo By: Mackenzie Gerry
Mehroon Kassam is the manager at Brock Student Health Services (SHS), and if there’s one thing she wants incoming students to know, it’s that SHS is here to help.
SHS provides many valuable services to students right on campus. For many students though, it can be intimidating reaching out to access them. Some might have moved for school and away from their primary care providers, for others it might be the first time that they make a doctor’s appointment for themselves.
SHS functions much like any other primary care clinic; students are able to make appointments with physicians and, if necessary, those physicians can then provide them with a referral to a specialist. In the case of psychiatric care, students can be referred and seen on-campus as well. For other referrals, students may have to go off-campus, but the referrals can all be coordinated by the team at SHS.
Students can also make appointments to speak with a mental health nurse to discuss and manage any symptoms related to mental health.
SHS provides a plethora of services, including STI testing, immunization (including COVID-19 immunization), suture removal and health exams. They can also provide documentation forms for Student Accessibility Services if necessary. Things like fever, flu, sprains, infections, birth control, coughs, colds and more can be handled by SHS.
Services are provided from two sites. The first of which is Harrison Hall, where students are seen by appointment. The second is Heritage Plaza where the Campus Pharmacy is located. In the past, SHS has been able to offer walk-in clinics, but because of the nature of COVID-19, they have had to make changes to the way that they provide urgent care to students. Though they are still able to provide same-day urgent care, the clinic won’t be able to support a waiting area for walk-ins.
In the fall, students will be able to access urgent care services by making a same-day appointment through the website. The urgent care clinic is set to start up on Sept. 7, 2021.
“This just helps to control the flow and the number of people,” said Kassam.
Wherever possible, students will have the choice between virtual or telephone appointments and face-to-face appointments.
There are also options for students who may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Students can contact Brock’s COVID-19 nurse via email at [email protected] or by calling 289-958-5723.
“They can even call [905-688-5550 x3243] and say ‘I have some symptoms and I need to talk to a doctor about it,’ then that person on the phone will connect them to someone,” said Kassam.
Students can also have prescriptions filled through the Campus Pharmacy. For existing medications prescribed by, for example, a family doctor in your hometown, students will have to see a physician through SHS and sign a request to share information.
“We would then call their home doctor, just to confirm, ‘is this the prescription you want your patient to get?’ and then usually they’ll say yes and then we’ll get it,” said Kassam.
In urgent cases, Kassam says there’s usually a way to provide students with a prescription that they need and take regularly that they’ve run out of, at least as a short-term solution.
“Most of the time we trust what the student is saying and will give them something, at least for a short while, while we are waiting for their doctor to confirm. So if it’s something like contraception pills or something they take regularly, for example, for diabetes and they’ve run out and they need it today, then there’s always ways that they can cover until we get information from their home doctor,” said Kassam
Knowing how to access the many available health services on campus is one important way to take care of yourself during the transition into university and in all the years to come.
It’s a good idea to explore the SHS website, even before you need to access any of their services. It’s always better to know where to get help and not need it, than to need help and not know where to get it.
They are currently in the process of updating the website, the changes should go live before classes start in the fall, and Kassam hopes that students will be able to get all of the answers they need on the website.
If you’re intimidated, and not sure where to start, accessing SHS can be as simple as calling and asking for help, according to Kassam.
“Somebody will always answer between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. [on weekdays] and they will help,” she said, “We really are there for [students] — don’t worry about ‘Will this happen? Will this not happen?’ Just call and you can talk to somebody and they will help you through.”
You’d be pretty lucky to get through your first year of university without at least one minor health concern, but it doesn’t have to be scary or stressful. Check out the website, and if you need help and you’re not sure where to look, just call. The person on the other end is there to help you.
SHS’ direct support line is available to call Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at 905-688-5550 x3243. You can also find them at their website.