Cal State Long Beach students can look forward to more on-campus resources for wellness after Student Health Services revealed a complete renovation that brought in new state-of-the-art equipment, a Behavior Health wing and several specialists.
Planning and development stages for the renovations started three years ago and were paid for by the Student Health Services facilities budget. The new space was revealed during an open house event this week.
One of the most notable changes is the new Behavioral Health wing on the lower level of the building where students can access mental health and wellness resources.
A part-time psychiatrist, two specialized counselors, case managers and a referral nurse are located in the new wing. Both counselors specialize in sexual assault advocacy, and one has a focus in alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse.
Interim Co-Director of Student Health Services Angela Girard played a major role in overseeing the renovations. She said there was a need for the wing to be transformed into the new behavioral health space. In the past several years, she said that more and more students have been coming into the health center seeking services related to mental health, anxiety and trauma.
“Students today are more open to talking about it and admitting it,” she said.
Another major improvement in Student Health Services was access. In order to make the facility ADA compliant, each exam room was expanded. Although that meant rooms were reduced, a new team nursing system and two additional triage stations have made moving students through more efficient.
The center also purchased and installed a new wheelchair scale, which means students who use wheelchairs can easily be weighed.
A few changes have been made to the placement of services within the building, too. All medical care is now on the upper level, making for a more streamline system for both patients and staff.
What was Women’s Health is now Reproductive Health, and that has been relocated to the second floor, along with the immunization clinic rooms. Reproductive Health also provides ultrasound services.
Student Health Services also added on additional specialty personnel, including another sports medicine doctor, a part-time gynecologist, the part-time psychiatrist and acupuncturist.
The pharmacy, once exclusive to students, is now open to faculty and staff. Prices on over-the-counter drugs are drastically lower. For example, you can buy 100-count acetaminophen for $1.50.
The overall look of the center has significantly changed, too. Students seeking health services used to be met with dull brown walls, old carpet, small exam rooms and outdated equipment.
Today, they are greeted with a bright reception area that features floral elements and calming blue color scheme. The whole center has been updated with new computers, new desks, new chairs, new carpet, fresh paint and contemporary signage.
“We wanted students to be able to walk in here and feel like they can connect with the space,” Girard said.
This is not the end of the renovations for Student Health Services, either. During this academic year, students can expect to see new equipment in radiology, a remodeled laboratory and upgraded restrooms.
“We are here for students, regardless of what it is, if they are not sure where to go, we would love to be their starting point,” Girard said. “We are here truly to serve students; it is our mission. And we really do work by those standards.”