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The Daily Illini

McKinley Health Center, the solution to your campus health issues

When you're having trouble with your mental health, McKinley Health Center is a crucial resource.

When you're having trouble with your mental health, McKinley Health Center is a crucial resource.

The Daily Illini File Photo

The Daily Illini File Photo

When you're having trouble with your mental health, McKinley Health Center is a crucial resource.

By Hannah Auten, Creative Director

The first time getting sick without your parents by your side is terrifying and miserable. There’s no one to bring you more tissues, or hand you a warm wash rag when you need it. Falling ill away from home is a sort of rite of passage. Every new student has to endure it, and when you do, odds are you’ll quickly become familiar with McKinley Health Center.

McKinley Health Center offers students a very wide variety of services. There are a variety of different clinics to address whatever illness or medical problem you may be facing. McKinley has a clinic for women’s health, immunization and travel, mental health and three general health clinics.

The best thing about McKinley is that it’s “free.” Any appointment in any clinic comes as part of your tuition and fees, and most prescriptions come at a very reasonable price. These prescriptions can also be picked up at the conveniently located pharmacy right inside McKinley. No need to go to Walgreens or CVS, just walk down the hall.

Being in college can mean you’re often on a tight budget. Spending fifteen bucks on medicine for a persistent cold isn’t very appealing. Fortunately, McKinley offers free ibuprofen, acetaminophen, throat lozenges, decongestants and cough syrup. However, these items can only be picked up twice a semester, so be sure to use them wisely.

College is full of new experiences and mistakes. To help students be responsible at their new home away from home, McKinley provides a variety of sexual health items. Condoms, lubricant, spermicidal gel, latex barriers and home pregnancy test kits are all available at the McKinley front desk. Just walk in, swipe your I-Card, and walk out. It’s as simple as that.

If your mom or dad was always the one to call and schedule your doctor appointments, don’t worry. McKinley has the option to schedule appointments in their general health clinics online. No awkward phone call necessary.

One downfall of McKinley is the location. With the exception of a few residence halls, getting to McKinley can be a bit of a trek, and when you’re already ill, the last thing you want to do is walk a mile and a half to see a doctor. To save you some energy, consider catching one of the buses that stop just a minute or two walk from McKinley. My personal favorites to take are the 22 Illini, 10 Gold and 12 Teal.

Getting sick away from home is never fun, regardless of whether it is the common cold or something more serious, like mono. When students are living in close contact with others, especially in the dorms or in small college apartments, viruses can spread quickly. Students should utilize the services provided by McKinley Health Center at the first symptoms of illness to minimize the risk of spreading their disease to the rest of the campus community.

Hannah is a sophomore in LAS
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