Associated Students of Diablo Valley College discussed on Nov. 19 the potential free health services that could be offered to students next semester. These services included HIV testing, a meditation circle, and a new mobile clinic.
“Our main concern is that students who don’t have access to the proper health services are suffering academically, mentally (and) physically, so we want to be able to provide that as soon as we can,” said Karin Pal, Health Center ADHoc committee member.
ASDVC President Yuvia Mendoza, said that HIV testing has been approved but ASDVC has to draw up a contract with Rainbow Community Center, an organization that would provide those services.
Maureen McSweeney, the ADHoc mental health coordinator, said that Rainbow Community Center has yet to sign the contract with Contra Costa County to add DVC as one of the testing locations.
McSweeney plans to contact Newin Orante, Vice President of Student Services to discuss the contract with the organization, but currently there are no updates.
Expanding mental health services is also being looked at for the upcoming spring. Pal said that one of the ideas that may be implemented is having a meditation circle on campus as a way to improve services.
McSweeney is reaching out to different organizations such as Family Justice Center and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to visit DVC and provide students opportunities to talk about their struggles.
“The meditation circle may be a group therapy once a week, give them the space,” said McSweeney. “I hear from a lot of students that they just want to feel like they have a voice and can air these things out, whatever they’re struggling with.”
Pal said that a meditation circle is also a step towards providing different resources for students besides current accommodations.
“Learn(ing) different (meditative) techniques that they could use, it’s a little bit different compared to how right now it is on DVC…we were thinking of making it interactive with other students as well,” said Pal.
ASDVC is also considering a mobile clinic on campus for students. This clinic would be provided by John Muir Medical center.
“For the mobile clinic, maybe they would park somewhere in the parking lot and setup there and then students, volunteers, we would be promoting it,” said Pal. “We would be trying to tell as many students that we can that this is available for this day at this time.”
Pal said that a mobile clinic wouldn’t take more than a year to be authorized.
Mendoza said that John Muir Medical center could add a mobile clinic to DVC but there would most likely be a cost attached to it.
While ASDVC’s budget is being pushed to its limit, Pal said during the meeting that they can inform John Muir medical center that they would contribute as much funds as they can, even though they are on a tight budget.
If all goes well and John Muir is able to provide a mobile clinic on campus, Mendoza said it would probably be established in March.
Pal said that the long term goal of health services is establishing a health center but this will take more time. Currently, the health committee is working with college council towards completing this goal.
“We are still in the process of trying to do a cross base analysis on what option is best for the actual health center,” said Pal.
Editor’s note: Maureen McSweeney is also a staff member of The Inquirer