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The Center for Wellness Services

Self Help and Self Care

During your time at Mount Ida College, you may get sick or be injured.  While Student Health Services is available to provide medical care and referrals, there are times when you may want to treat minor symptoms on your own.

It’s generally OK to self-treat if:

  • You don’t have a chronic illness or other condition for which you are taking medications
  • You’re not very sick
  • Your symptoms are mild and familiar and haven’t been going on for very long
  • You ask your pharmacist for advice on which over-the-counter (OTC) medications to take
  • Refer to our Stocking Your Medicine Cabinet Guide for suggested supplies you can keep on hand for self-care.

You should seek medical attention if:

  • You have a chronic illness or other condition.
  • A cold, the flu, or a stomachache that’s getting worse even though you’re resting and taking OTC medicine
  • Unusual symptoms that are painful or worrisome
  • A sinus infection, a bad sore throat with a fever, or other symptoms you think may require antibiotics
  • Diarrhea or constipation for longer than a week, bloody diarrhea, or diarrhea with mucus
  • Joint pain that’s chronic and affects your normal activities, or joint pain along with redness or swelling of the joint
  • Back pain that’s chronic or accompanied by pain that travels down your leg or arm
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, and depression lasting for at least two weeks
  • An injury you can’t treat yourself but that’s not an emergency

Not sure if your medical problem is an emergency or not? Click here for more information on when to use the emergency department. Remember that a visit to the emergency department can be very expensive and can include a very long wait if you’re not experiencing a true emergency.

Mental Health

Self-Care While You Wait for An Intake Appointment

While you are in the process of scheduling ongoing individual counseling, you may wonder what you can do in the meantime.  Here are some things you can do  to alleviate some of the distress you may currently be experiencing (this list is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any conditions – it cannot substitute for a consultation with a medical or mental health professional):

  • Stick to a routine.  Get dressed, go to class, keep to the structure you normally have during your day.
  • Eat healthy food regularly. Skipping meals robs you of the energy you need to cope.
  • Talk to supportive friends or family members.  Isolating yourself can make things worse.
  • Find activities that are relaxing or soothing to you. Listen to your favorite music, practice taking deep breaths throughout the day, take hot baths, meditate, take a long walk.
  • Get some sleep. Most people need from 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.  Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Do some kind of physical activity that you enjoy. This can be running, swimming, playing sports, working out.  Even walks around the campus and neighborhood can help you feel better emotionally and help reduce stress.
  • Avoid using alcohol or drugs as a way to “self-medicate.” This includes caffeine.
  • Find humor in life. Spend time with those who make you laugh.  Watch a comedy, YouTube or read a funny book.
  • Distract yourself temporarily from your difficulties – watch TV, text a friend, play a game, go outside.
  • Recall what has helped you before in similar situations. Make a list of these things and try to do them.
  • Keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings.  Note any patterns or questions you’d like to discuss in counseling.
student writing in spiraled notebook
Mental Health Screening

Mental Health

Brief screenings are the quickest way to determine if you or someone you care about should connect with a mental health professional - they are a checkup from your neck up. This program is completely anonymous and confidential, and immediately following the brief questionnaire you will see your results, recommendations, and key resources.