Here’s to Your Health

Beverly Irwin
El Vaquero Staff Writer

College life can be stressful, and apart from the obvious pressures of classes, papers and grades there is also money, jobs and relationships – all of which can make what are supposed to be the “best years of your life” some of the worst.

While there are myriad academic and educational planning services available at Glendale Community College, one of the lesser known services available to students is the crisis and stress counseling provided by the Campus Health Center.

Apart from a range of individual services, it offers workshops specializing in testing and performance anxiety, relaxation and biofeedback workshops. The counseling staff at the center, headed by clinical supervisor Crescent Orpelli, can help deal with depression, grief, anger management and relationship (parent, partner, peer, instructor) issues.

Counselors are available for students to deal with all types of situations. For example, a sudden dramatic change in a friend’s behavior can often be a sign of some physical or mental anxiety. While it may be beneficial to intervene, it is not always easy to do so.

Students can work with counselors to help figure out how to approach the situation. All conversations are kept completely confidential.

The GCC Health Center offers the usual health services from headache pills, pregnancy testing and blood pressure checks to low cost flu shots. Students can discuss birth control, nutrition or any other health-related topic on a drop-in basis while appointments can be made with physicians, nurse practitioners and mental health interns.

The Health Center offers free HIV testing, with results available in a week.

There is a Health Resource Center within the Health Center that offers a range of information: computers with Internet access and CD-ROM programs to help with research and class projects and literature on health-related topics which can be checked out. Video and audio tapes on diet, nutrition, stress, exercise, AIDS and other STDs are also available for student use at the center.

The team at the center takes pride that the GCC Health Center is unique in that it is open the longest hours of any community college health center – even on Saturdays – and that three out of four of its nurses are graduates of GCC.

The services are available for on-campus emergencies such as sports or car accidents, or any other sudden onset illness. The GCC Health Center is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.