Youth often is associated with good health, but the college lifestyle — with its erratic sleep/study schedules, fast-food diets, late nights and substance use – can negatively and quite dramatically impact students’ physical and mental health. Add in the numerous new responsibilities students are juggling for the first time, and it’s easy to understand how students commonly neglect their own health.
Lack of Access Drives Need for Telehealth Solutions
Even with health coverage, today’s college students may find it difficult or nearly impossible to find convenient medical or behavioral health care, particularly if they attend a school in another state. This lack of access creates troubling scenarios:
More than half of students get sick every year: Nearly a quarter drop a class because of it, according to the American College Health Association.
Higher levels of anxiety, depression: The CDC reports suicide has become a leading cause of death for college-aged youth.
Colleges do support students’ health in a number of ways — including the ubiquitous on-campus health center. But many students resist going for several reasons:
Distance: Students who aren’t feeling well are less likely to schlep across campus, especially if there’s bad weather or they lack transportation.
Hours of operation: For a student with a 3 a.m. fever, the health center is no help.
Stigma: Students wrestling with issues such as STDs, UTIs, depression or anxiety will steer clear of the health center for fear of shame or being stigmatized.
Telehealth Bridges the Gap
To bridge these gaps and ensure students get the care they need when they need it, telehealth is a beneficial tool. Telehealth offers a winning mix of speed, convenience, technology and value for a population that is used to reaching for a mobile phone to seek answers.
MeMD offers comprehensive, customizable health services for colleges and universities including: