Student Health & Counseling Center
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Welcome to WOU! Western Oregon University (WOU) is happy to be your choice for continued education. If you become ill or injured while you are a student, call the Student Health Counseling Center (SHCC) at 503-838-8313. Usually, office visits are free to students. You might need to pay for some services such as lab tests, immunizations, and prescriptions. All the charge goes in the student account. You don’t pay in person, cash, or any transaction at SHCC. For more information go to https://wou.edu/health/parents/fees-for-service/
International students are automatically enrolled in the WOU international student insurance plan. If you have other insurance that meets federal, state, and university requirements, you may submit a waiver to remove the charge. For more information go to https://wou.edu/international/international-students/current-students/insurance/
Did you know? Translation services are available at SHCC for more than 255 languages
SHCC staff members access the translation line by phone-based translation service. It is free and confidential. We also provide a handout to international students with Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic. For digital handout information: SHCC Overview
Immunizations and Health History:
All students coming to WOU must receive a series of required vaccines. If you have already received some or all your required immunizations, you must submit proof to SHCC. If you still need some (or all) of your required immunizations, you can get them at SHCC. You must also submit an international student health history form, which can be found in our forms section
Preventing the spread of infectious diseases is very important to WOU. To promote the health of the campus community, SHCC offers general information on how to prevent disease and vaccinations for diseases such as influenza. SHCC also offers a Health Fair to show students ways to stay healthy.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs):
STIs are infections that can be passed between people during sexual activities. They affect people of all ages and backgrounds. In the United States, there are about 19,000,000 new cases each year; half of these are among young people ages 15-24 years. SHCC offers a variety of resources to help prevent the spread of these infections, such as testing, counseling, and confidential HIV testing. Health Promotion Department offers a workshop on sexual health topics. They also meet with students to talk about the topics in private!
Foreign Food Resources:
While adapting to the American life, you may find yourself craving food from home. The following links can give you an idea of local resources for food from other countries.
For more information go to https://wou.edu/student/wolf-ride/
Cherriots (public transportation):
For more information go to https://www.cherriots.org/route/40X/
Students can use and be a part of the Wellness Center’s programs to keep all of WOU’s students healthy and safe.
- Peer Mentor Program – Students who need help with health and other college difficulties are helped by students who know what WOU offers. If you need help, ask for a mentor. If you want to help, ask to be a mentor.
- Bystander Training– Teaches students the tools to help themselves and their peers lower violence at WOU. The goal is to make WOU’s campus a safer place. It offers training, events on campus, and Green Dot Club to help with safety.
- Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC) – Students, faculty, and staff meet to fix health concerns. They look at the rules set by WOU and give knowledge to people at WOU about health and safety.
The Health Promotion Department helps students do well in their classes at WOU. Their workshops teach students how to deal with some of the worries and fears of school. Here are the titles of some of their classes:
- Fearful or worried about taking tests
- Sleep difficulty
- Adjusting/Moving to college
- Budgeting money
- Resolving conflicts
- Eating disorders
- Sexual Health
- Alcohol/Drug abuse
Will also meet with students to talk about these topics in private! For more details go to https://wou.edu/health/departments/wellness-education/
- Health Fair- The Wellness Center offers a Health Fair to show students ways to stay healthy.
- Blood Drive– The Wellness Center offers a Blood Drive to help sick people in the hospital by giving them blood from healthy students.
Rights and Responsibilities:
We want students to be active in their health care. So, you have the RIGHT to:
- Quality care that doesn’t discriminate
- Be treated with dignity and respect
- Agree to or refuse treatment
- Be told about any additional costs
- Know the outlook for fixing your problem
- How the problem can be prevented in the future
- Know the name of the person providing you care
- Know what tests are being recommended and why
- Be given accurate and understandable information about your health
- Understand the beneficial effects, side effects, and problems with treatment
- Make suggestions, complaints, and give praise to the WOU SHCC
Students must also have control over their health care. You have the RESPONSIBILITY to:
- Be honest about your past medical history
- Ask about anything you don’t understand
- Treat the health center staff with courtesy and respect
- Answer questions truthfully and in full
- Make sure you understand directions
- Follow the plan that was given to you
- Let the person giving you care know about any change in health or bad side effects
- Know the person giving you care
- Keep the appointments that you make or cancel as soon as possible
For more details about WOU student rights & responsibilities go to Student Conduct Resources Page
Resources for Non-Western Remedies:
Examples: Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc.
- Non-western remedies
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves inserting very fine needles into different parts of your body (called acupuncture points). This is believed to stimulate nerves and muscles, which may release natural pain-relieving chemicals. It’s based on the belief that health problems can be caused when energy (or your ‘Qi’) becomes ‘blocked.’ Acupuncture aims to unlock your energy channels to restore the flow of your Qi. Acupuncture is mainly used for headaches or chronic pain, but some people feel it helps to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM): TCM aims to rebalance the body’s energy systems and involves acupuncture and tuina (a form of massage) as well as herbal remedies. It has been the primary medical system used in China for more than 2000 years.
- Massage: Massage uses touch sensitively and respectfully, taking account of physical symptoms, wellbeing, and your lifestyle. There are lots of different types of massage therapy, such as Shiatsu, Indian head massage, and aromatherapy massage.
- Bowen technique: The Bowen technique (named after Thomas Bowen, who developed the therapy) is a kind of contact therapy, meaning the practitioner does touch you. Still, it is a very light touch, which can be done through light clothing. They use very gentle rolling motions with pauses in between. It’s mainly used for physical problems, but some people find it reduces feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
- Reiki: Reiki is a Japanese technique that involves the ‘laying of hands’ on different areas of the body, including the head, shoulders, stomach, and feet. It’s based on the idea that we have a ‘life force energy’ that flows within our bodies. When this energy is low, it makes us more likely to become unwell. A Reiki treatment aims to restore life force energy to help you to heal and stay well. Some people find it makes them feel more relaxed and less stressed.
- Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy uses essential oils (oils extracted from plants) for healing. Some people find that the smell (aroma) of particular oils helps them to relax, sleep better, relieve pain, and improve low mood. The oils can be used in many different ways, such as in creams, oil burners, massaged into the skin, or by adding drops to a warm bath. It is possible to experience allergies or reactions to the oils, so you should speak to an aromatherapist beforehand if you have any concerns.
- Herbal medicine: These can be used to treat health problems similarly to prescription medications, but the herbal practitioner will usually take a holistic, rather than an illness-focused, approach.
- Ayurvedic medicine: This is based on ancient Indian theory and uses medicines made from plants and minerals to restore balance in the body. Ayurvedic medicine also includes massage and panchakarma (therapies that aim to get rid of the toxins in the body using massage and herbal oils).
- Yoga: Yoga involves spiritual and physical practices designed to increase self-awareness, such as posture work, breathing exercises, meditation, sounds, and visualization. There are many different types of yoga, such as Hatha (moving through postures to create balance), Bikram (done in a hot room) and Iyengar (using blocks and straps to support yoga moves). Many studies suggest that yoga can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. It’s a good idea to do at least a few classes with a professional instructor (in a group or individually) before trying it by yourself because doing the poses incorrectly can cause injuries. But once you feel safe and confident, there are many books, DVDs, and free online resources available to guide you on more cheaply.
- Homeopathy: Homeopathy involves using extremely diluted (watered down) natural substances to treat physical and mental health problems. Homeopaths believe that the more a substance is diluted, the more effective it will be – and the less likely it will be to cause any unwanted side effects. Some people find that trying homeopathic remedies for stress, anxiety, and depression does make them feel better. However, most doctors are skeptical about homeopathy. The NHS says that the evidence shows homeopathy works no better than a placebo (a sugar pill). It also cautions that choosing homeopathy as your primary treatment may mean you don’t want other options, which could work better.
- Hypnotherapy: Hypnosis involves putting you in a state of deep relaxation to access subconscious beliefs, thoughts, and memories which may affect the way you act. Hypnotherapists use hypnosis to help you change unwanted thoughts and behaviors by using suggestion and increasing your self-awareness. You’re always in full control under hypnosis, and your therapist will only use methods that you’ve agreed on and feel comfortable with. Many people find it a useful way of treating things like depression, anxiety, phobias, stress, anger, addictions, and low self-esteem. But hypnotherapy might not be suitable for you if you have a diagnosis of personality disorder (it may make your symptoms worse), or if you are due to be a witness at a trial.
- Meditation: There are various schools of meditation, but all aim to quieten your mind and put you into a state of calm, stillness, and rest. Some types of meditation may also involve mindfulness. While the evidence is mixed as to whether meditation is effective at treating mental health problems, many people do find it a helpful way of relaxing and managing feelings of stress and anxiety. There are many DVDs, apps, and free online videos that can teach you meditation exercises.
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness involves focusing your attention to what’s happening in the present moment. It aims to help you become more aware of your thoughts and feelings, so you can choose how to react to them calmly. Many people find mindfulness helpful for managing negative thoughts and feelings of stress.
Safe places for purchasing essential oils, herbal supplements, natural products, and TCM:
- Whole Foods
- Market of Choice
- Natural Grocery
- Natural Grocer
- Fred Meyer
- Fubonn shopping center
- 99 Ranch Market
- Asian Food Center