Student health center puts mental health as it’s top priority

By Jesus Hernandez

Supporting and taking care of students with mental health issues is one of East Los Angeles College’s top goals.
On Monday, the ELAC Student Health Center held a Zoom meeting regarding behavior health and mental health awareness.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there are services the college offers to students. Behavioral Health Coordinator Maricela Madrigal presented and talked about some important factors that lead to the mental health issues college students may have. What can be done and the resources ELAC has to offer.
ELAC has many resources available for free with the paid student health fee. Some of those services are first-aid care, treatment of minor illnesses, physical exams, emergency birth control, tampons and pads, pregnancy tests, women’s health, LGBTQ+ services, condoms, flu shots, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, blood pressure screening and more.
Additional services not included with the paid student health fee include dental care, podiatry, pharmacy and prescriptions, case management, pediatrics, hepatitis-C testing and treatment.
Common ELAC medical services are sport physicals, family planning services, TB shots for work or study, common colds and immunizations in general.
Call the student health center or you can walk in. The front desk will contact and confirm with the fiscal office of the paid student health fee.
An intake assessment is the initial session with the student for the therapist to gather information and obtain clear focus on the stress or students’ need for support.
ELAC also offers short term treatment help which is a brief intervention of six individual therapy sessions that are 30-35 minutes long.
When those sessions are completed, students can enroll in a group session where they will be placed in a group of other students that are experiencing some of the same symptoms and similar situations. These six sessions are per semester.
“When it comes to our college students, we are looking at eight out of 10 that deal with stress on a frequent basis,” said Madrigal.
For 80% of students, some of that stress comes from financial issues, debt, lack of sleep, time pressures, lack of family support, work-related stress and medical conditions.
Madrigal said the American College Health Association conducted an assessment in 2019 on 68,000 students, and they identified different factors that affected their academic performance.
The factors included anxiety, sleep difficulties, depression and stress.
Out of those 68,000 students, 27% reported anxiety, 34% said it was stress, 20% said it was depression and 22% said it was sleep difficulties.
Madrigal said it’s important at ELAC help out because of the surrounding communities.
She said they are aware of some of the challenges surrounding the college.
The Student Health Center is there for every student at ELAC and offers many great services.
For more information students can call them at 323-265-8651 or you can email them at

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