This is an update of the re-written, re-edited, and re-updated repost from 2018 which was a repost from 2017, although ~health things~ have remained (basically) the same. The original is an updated version of a post originally written by Catherine MacLean ’14 which appeared on the Peer Advisor Blog and on Wesleying. It also includes a section on resources for survivors of sexual assault by Ryden Nelson ’16 and Chloe Murtagh ’15 and a section on the new support groups run by WeSupport by Veronica Harrington ’17.
This is part of our 2021 Unofficial Orientation Series. A quick reminder that you can check out the welcome post here and past years’ series here.
Whether you’re a prefrosh or about to start your last semester at Wesleyan you will learn something new from this post (unless you’re a health center pro).
If you think you’re going to make it through four years of a liberal arts education without once having to find some medical support do I have news for you. This guide is made with the help of some very knowledgeable people on campus, most who have already graduated. We have gone through the post and updated everything that needs updating so you can save yourself at least a little trouble when it comes to navigating the terrain that is the Wesleyan Medical Services. Before we begin let me stress the need to wash your hands.
so ~springy~ amirite??? (photo courtesy of Bowen He ’21)
Despite what the layers of ice and snow blanketing the campus may signal, it is indeed spring break! Some of you may be jetting (or ride-begging) off into warmer climes, but for those staying
in this wintry wasteland on campus, you’ll need sustenance (even if you’re planning on hibernating through long stretches of break).
Lucky for you, we’ve outlined below what’s going to be open and what’s going to be closed and at what times the open things will be open. Just look for the place you want to eat at and then check the hours. Hint: if the place is not Weshop it probably won’t be open. If you feel like you need to see this information in chart form you can do so on the websites of each place here: (Bon Appetit, WesWings & Red and Black, Libraries).
You know when it’s after Valentine’s Day and you’ve just had like 8 hours of class and you like, didn’t really care about Valentine’s Day but like,, you cared enough to maybe watch something about it and now you’re on Netflix and scrolling past all those thumbnails with two people smiling at each other and biting their lip and just wish there was a way to know which of those thumbnails was worth your sweet sweet time?? You’re in luck! I watched 8 Netflix Original rom coms and ranked them so you don’t have to. So, get under those covers, put on the face mask you got last semester from RiteAid, and treat yourself to one of these eight amazingly mediocre Valentine’s Day themed movies <3
We hope everyone made it through finals alright (if you still need a little boost, check out our Procrastination Destination)! In a continuation of this semester’s trend of less-common illnesses showing up at/near Wesleyan, we received another all-campus email from the health center last week, this time about Meningitis B.
One student at Central Connecticut State University contracted the rare bacterial strain, which prompted this press release from the Connecticut Department of Health. While the risk is low, Dr. Tom McLarney, Medical Director at Davison Health Center, recommends students contact their primary care physicians over winter break to discuss possibly getting vaccinated against this strain (the Meningitis B vaccine is not one of the required immunizations at Wesleyan or most college campuses).
Read on for the full email that Dr. McLarney sent earlier this week:
From Wesleyan Democratic Socialists:
Come to a meeting on Friday, November 2nd at 4:30 PM in the Resource Center to share your ideas and develop the demands of the CAPS Campaign!!!
This year WesDS is organizing a campaign around recent CAPS staffing shortages, and ongoing concerns about CAPS staffing and accessibility mental healthcare access at Wesleyan. If you were at Wesleyan in 2016-17, you may remember a similar “Wes Needs CAPS” campaign from that time, which resulted in new CAPS hires. As you can see, these types of issues are recurring, and we want to make sure Wesleyan addresses them sustainably so that we don’t have to continue fighting for adequate mental health care year after year.
As we organize, we want to make sure that this campaign takes the specific needs and concerns of marginalized students and identity-based groups into account so that we can fight for real transformative change in how CAPS supports student mental health. We have drafted some preliminary demands already, based largely off of the previous “Wes Needs CAPS” campaign and research we’ve done this year. However, we want to ensure that the demands we’re making are inclusive of all Wes students before we publicize and start organizing around them.
Please take a look at the draft demands and then come to the meeting to share your thoughts!
Date: Friday, November 2
Time: 4:30-6:00 PM
Place: The Resource Center
In the never-ending CAPS saga, we’ve received another update from the powers that be in the form of an all-campus email. Some highlights include:
- CAPS has received authorization to hire another full-time therapist in addition to the two full-time therapists have already been hired to replace the two full-time therapists who left.
- There is still no APRN/prescriber, though they “hope to have this position filled very soon”
- CAPS acknowledges that it is bad at connecting students to off-campus care (~understatement of the decade~), despite often claiming that students cannot continue using CAPS because they need “more intensive counseling and support than CAPS is able to provide.” To address this, they’re bringing in a consultant.
The full text of the email can be found below the jump:
WesThrive is a five part workshop series centered around resilience. The workshops will be focused on:
- Defining and uncovering the characteristics of resilience you already have within you
- Learning mindfulness techniques that are practical, portable, and sustainable
- Discovering aspects of positive psychology and how it can improve your overall well-being
- Sharing strategies for building healthy bodies & healthy minds
Monday nights October 29th through November 11th
6:00 – 7:30 pm
APPLY HERE ASAP: https://goo.gl/forms/PHhfA21R3MAqCVGh1
Date: Mondays, October 29-November 12
Time: 6:00-7:30 PM
On September 4, CAPS Director Jennifer D’Andrea sent an all-campus email alerting students of some alarming changes in CAPS staffing. Over the summer, there were “three unexpected departures from the CAPS team,” including Katie Scheinberg, the APRN that was hired in February 2017 as a direct result of the student-organized Wes Needs CAPS campaign of 2016-17, which had four major demands:
- Hire two new, full-time psychologists.
- Raise our half-time therapist up to full-time.
- Approve the hiring of a full-time Advanced Practicing Nurse Practitioner (APRN).
- Increase the CAPS operating budget for the first time in six years.
The other two departures from CAPS this fall were Lisa Miceli, Ph.D. and Amber Jones, LCSW. These staffing changes leave Wesleyan with only 6 licensed psychotherapists (most of whom are part-time or have significant duties other than providing counseling services to students) and 6 externs. This is the smallest provider pool CAPS has offered since I began at Wesleyan in Fall 2015. At the same time, CAPS is now severely understaffed for the task of providing counseling and psychological services to Wesleyan’s ~3,240 undergraduate and graduate students (including the largest incoming class of students at Wesleyan in the past two years).
Further context for the CAPS staffing situation and the full text of the email can be found below the jump: