By Annette Quijada
East Los Angeles’s Dream Resource Center provided insight for students on accessing valuable free or low cost health services during the pandemic.
This event was hosted by DRC coordinator, Elizandro Umaña and Student Health Coordinator, Celia Cruz. Alongside them were Vanessa Diaz Venegas with Via Care and Amanda Washington with UCLA.
The Student Health Center currently provides services that include mental health/individual therapy/support groups, COVID-19 testing, STI and HIV testing, family planning (birth control), and LGBTQ+ services, etc.
“The most important thing I would like all of our students and our whole campus community to know is that although our campus is closed, as well as our campus, medical and mental health services are still available to our students,” said Cruz.
The Health Center is also offering a number of support groups over Zoom such as a Mens Healing Group, Women’s Support Group, LGBTQ+ Support group, etc. For information on when these support groups meet check https://linktr.st Los Angeles College’s ee/elacshc. For additional upcoming workshops follow the Student Health Center on Instagram @elacstudenthealth.
Amanda Washington from UCLA introduced the Screening and Treatment for Anxiety and Depression program that will be at ELAC this spring. STAND was first created at UCLA and it is a system of care that uses technology to deliver mental health services to those experiencing anxiety, depression, and related conditions.
Students will have access to a mental health tracker for free, the tracker consists of a 5-10 minute survey in which it assesses your answers. Based on symptoms shown, students will be referred to 1 out of the 3 services STAND offers.
“First is the Wellness Service, you will essentially be taking a self guided online prevention program. For those with more moderate symptoms you’ll be referred to our Digital Therapy with a Coach, you’ll have weekly one-on-one meetings with a coach. The Third option is for people with more severe symptoms. You’ll be referred to our clinical care service. You’d receive one-on-one treatment via telehealth with trained clinicians at Harbor UCLA medical center,” Washington said.
STAND will be working directly with the Student Health Center. To receive updates for when STAND officially launches at ELAC, students can sign up at https://tinyurl.com/ELAC-STAND-InterestForm.
Via Care Behavioral Health Therapist Vanessa Diaz Venegas said she hopes to be able to support the ELAC community in a unique way. Venegas believes being a student comes with responsibility and a role one must fulfill which can impact mental wellness, therefore self care is important.
“Putting self care into action, we can focus on physical interaction with nature, implement some type of workout routine, or do something out of our everyday routine,” Venegas said.
Students can also download the Healow App on the Via Care website to access telemedicine sessions to speak to a physician.
Students who require an in person appointment with a physician can do so even if the campus center is closed by accessing the clinics near the campus.
For mental health and medical appointments, students may contact Via Care at (323)268-9191 and say they’re an ELAC student to make an appointment.