For IU sophomore Lauren Wagner, who is currently unable to receive care from IUCounseling and Psychological Services as an out-of-state student, it’s hard to find a new counselor. The stay-at-home restrictions where she lives in California have kept her cooped up for about the last two months and will most likely last well into the summer.
“I love my family and I love being home because I missed them so much, but talking to the same three people every day is making me go a little bit crazy,” Wagner said.
Because she hasn't found a counselor to talk to in California, as many of them are not accepting new patients, one thing that keeping her grounded is going on long drives with her sister and getting some fresh air.
California does not allow out-of-state providers to practice in the state. Wagner said if she were able to utilize IU health care, she would be interested in meeting with somebody because she really likes talk therapy.
Unlike before the coronavirus, some out-of-state students can receive care from IU Health. This includes students staying on campus and those whose home states have issued a state of emergency that allows out-of-state providers in good standing to practice in their state, IU Health Center Executive Director Pete Grogg said. But this varies from state to state, and it could change as the summer continues.
As of May 12, students in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, New York, New Jersey and Florida were able to receive care from IU Health for as long as their state allows, according to the IU Health Center Scheduler.
The IU Health Center recently decided to cut the summer fee in half to make its services more accessible to students. The fee is now $48.05, which includes telemedicine and in-person visits, with limited visitors, and two free virtual CAPS visits.
“They need to know that they can still look to us for any health care they might need,” Grogg said. “That we are going to be available to them through the summer and beyond.”
Any in-state students can use IU Health Center services, even if they don’t take summer classes, and this includes graduating students.
Grogg said the health center realized it may be difficult for students to get a job this summer, and it want students to still have access to care if they need it. If the cost of $48.05 is still prohibitive, Denise Hayes director of CAPS, said students can request for fee reduction by filling out a form indicating their resources.
The number of services being used at the health center is down about 80% for this time of year, Grogg said. This is something that’s being seen across the nation, he said. However, this could make the health center quickly overstaffed, Grogg said, and they can’t be in a position where they are losing a lot of money.
“We get used to practicing a certain way, and this is somewhat disruptive,” Grogg said.
They are seeing about 30% utilization of what they usually see in CAPS, Grogg said. However, Hayes said at this time students are reporting more feelings of loneliness, sadness, missing their friends and being in in-person classes. Similarly, in a survey sent to students, Grogg said the students also prefer in-person health services.
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