Payment now required at health center

Megan Ditore, For the Review

Talking to a trained professional about harmful thoughts; is it worth the cost of a caramel latte?

The counseling center is charging $15 a month for their services. The student fee is due at the time of first service in the month and is payable by cash or can be billed to the student’s account. Students can go as many times as necessary to them in the span of each month.

The counseling center offers short term counseling to full time undergraduate students on the McMinnville campus. These counseling sessions provide students care for those with concerns and difficulties that students encounter in early adulthood.

Anything from developmental or psychological concerns are included in care according to the Linfield website. Examples include homesickness, choosing appropriate major, learning and improving communication skills, low self-esteem, recovering from traumatic incidents, eating disorders, anxiety and substance abuse.

The Student Health Center is located in Walker 103 and offers a full range of primary care medical services to Linfield students. Almost one-third of the students use the counseling services on campus.

The charge of $15 a month is new this year, starting at the beginning of the year. Recently though, the news has been posted to Yik Yak, an anonymous social media site, and students are enraged.

Many students are saying that they won’t go now because of this change.

This same thing happened when health care started to charge students, everyone was upset but in retrospect it has ultimately benefited the students because they are able to get better care.

Three years ago the Health, Wellness, and Counseling centers joined together to help give better care to students, before there was little communication between each of the centers. Now that they are combined, they are easier to find, and work with. With this, the demand has gone up.

Patty Haddeland, director of Student Health, Wellness and Counseling centers said, “Every year we have had to increase the staff to meet the demands of the students.”

With more staff there are more hours available for students to get help. Some counselors are even on call twenty-four seven for students who need it.

She also said that she does not think that adding a charge to the counseling center will deter students from wanting to go. The fee has been active since the beginning of the year and in September there were a record number of students who came in for counselor care.

“The typical student counseling relationship is the student comes in weekly for about an hour long; if you do the math, this adds up to about $3.75 an hour. That is equivalent to a caramel latte at Starbucks,” she said.

Amy Halloransteiner, who works on campus as well as off, has starting rates of $80 for people at her off campus clinic.

Haddeland also said, “On Oct 9th the Student Health and Wellness and Counseling center received confirmation that the Linfield Insurance provider, Regence, will reimburse subscribers for the counseling office visit.” This means that if they have Linfield Student Health Insurance, it is suggested that the fee be billed to their account as a “health fee.”

In doing this, Regence will send an itemized check with all of the students’ names that are being reimbursed for the month, by billing their Linfield Student Health Insurance and the fee will be cleared from their account.

“Students who do not carry the Linfield Student Health Insurance may submit the receipt they receive at the time of the visit to their insurance carrier for reimbursement if they so desire,” Haddeland said.

This is the same practice Linfield Student Health, Wellness and Counseling has used for the Health side for years and it has worked extremely well.