Fight and fend off illness with McKinley Health Center


The Daily Illini File Photo

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

By Isabella Winkler, Assistant Opinions editor

Whether it’s navigating campus, joining clubs or balancing your new workload, what seems intimidating now for incoming students quickly becomes second nature as you become acquainted with the University.

Dorm life takes some adjustments, but once you’re comfortable, you will start appreciating what your residence hall has to offer; however, hundreds of 18-year-olds living in such close quarters brings some inconveniences.

When you hear your neighbors down the hall coughing, you can expect that your whole floor to join soon. On top of the germ-swapping, the stress of midterms will hit and your sleepless nights at the library – or KAM’s – will leave you groggy. Undoubtedly, you will find yourself with the sniffles at some point. If you’re like me and are stuck in a perpetual cycle of allergies and head colds, McKinley Health Center will become your best friend.

Though your instinct may be to call your mom crying, making an appointment at McKinley should be your priority. It’s easier than you think—online scheduling allows you to pick your appointment time with any doctor in the general clinics.

Among the many stresses of college life, mental health issues tend to surface, and students may feel like there is nowhere to turn. McKinley’s mental health center includes a staff of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers, so if you find yourself a part of the 41.6 percent of college students dealing with anxiety, there will always be someone to talk to.

Your first year at college comes with new experiences and, consequently, new responsibilities. The Women’s Health department offers a walk-in clinic and services such as annual exams, contraception and STI screening and treatment.

The cost of any appointment at McKinley is covered in your enrolled student fee, and prescriptions are priced reasonably and can be conveniently picked up at the pharmacy just down the hall from the clinics.

Under-the-weather finals week essentials such as cough drops, Ibuprofen and cough syrup are offered at no cost twice per semester at the walk-up desk, as well as pregnancy tests and wound care packages. Condoms and other sexual health items can be picked up every two weeks — use them wisely.

Despite its unfortunate location for the Champaign-dwellers, McKinley is a great resource for students throughout the year. It may not replace your mom’s homemade soup, but it does dampen some of the misery of being sick away from home. And, as a preventative measure, remember to stay cautious of those communal bathrooms.

Isabella is a junior in ACES.
[email protected]