SHACS offers integrated health and counseling services. Our nurses and therapists work closely together to offer you care appropriate for your needs.

Health Services

Our health services include:

  • Nursing assessments and treatment of minor illnesses and injuries
  • Dispensation of over-the-counter medications
  • Testing for pregnancy, HIV, mononucleosis, Strep A, hemoglobin, glucose, and urinalysis
  • Dispensation of Plan B (at-cost fee)
  • Assistance scheduling appointments with health service providers in the community and region
  • Crutches on loan
  • Consultation, education, and prevention services
  • If you self-administer insulin injections, sharps containers are available free of charge to you through SHACS. Medical waste can then be returned to SHACS to dispose of properly.

In addition to providing a prompt, efficient, caring health regimen, we maintain close working relationships with Grinnell Regional Medical Center – the hospital located in Grinnell – and with local health care providers, clinics, and pharmacies.

Counseling Services

College is a time of multiple transitions, opportunities, and challenges which can result in both good and bad stress. Counseling services can support you as you learn, grow, and develop. At SHACS, we offer time-limited individual, couples, and group therapy to help you sort out your feelings, explore options for coping, and seek other resources, if helpful, during your time at Grinnell. You do not have to be in emotional crisis to make use of our counseling services! In fact, we strongly encourage you to be proactive and start counseling before your concerns reach crisis proportions. Students often seek counseling for issues such as:

stress management • low self-esteem • anxiety • sex • gender identity • trauma • concerns about a friend or relative • sexual orientation • loneliness • depression • family issues • insomnia • relationship concerns • recovering from sexual assault • procrastination • concerns about body image and disordered eating • grief

These are only examples, however. If you are feeling bad or uncomfortable, or if something is bothering you, that is a good reason to talk with one of our counselors.

Individual Counseling

You and the counselor you see for your first appointment will collaborate to determine the best approach to treatment for you. Individual therapy can run from one to several to “some” sessions, based on the treatment plan you and your counselor develop. If the two of you decide that longer-term therapy would be best, your counselor will provide you with several referrals to therapists in Grinnell or, if you prefer, within the greater Des Moines-Grinnell-Iowa City area.

Couples Counseling

Brief couples therapy can help you and your partner explore relationship issues, enhance your communication skills, and resolve conflicts. You and your partner will work with your counselor to explore your goals for counseling and to develop a plan for reaching them.

What If I'm Worried About Someone?

If you are concerned about a student’s health or mental health, encourage him/her/hir to call Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS) for a brief phone consultation. (You can also encourage the student to look at this web site for information about who we are and what we do.) If the student would like you to do so, you are welcome to participate in the phone consultation with the student and the nurse or counselor. Similarly, if the student decides to make an appointment here, and if he/she/zi would like you to do so, you are welcome to accompany the student to the appointment.

Without a student’s permission, we will not acknowledge if he/she/zi is or is not our client or discuss a student’s care here. (See Confidentiality.) However, if you are concerned about a student and just want to give us that information, you are welcome to call us and we are happy to listen.

If you are afraid that a student is at risk of suicide or homicide, contact:

Student Health and Counseling Services
641-269-3230 (business hours)

The RLC on call or Campus Safety and Security
641-269-4600 (evening, weekends, and holidays)


Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS) offers transportation to your local medical and mental health appointments and to local pharmacies. Transportation is not provided to appointments outside Grinnell.

We would appreciate at least an hour’s notice if you will need a ride. This helps our receptionist and driver plan to get you where you need to be on time. However, we understand that there will be times when you will make an appointment and need to leave for it as soon as possible.

When your appointment is done, you may call SHACS to be picked up and returned to campus. If you need to get a prescription, we can drop you off at a pharmacy and pick you up again later.

An accessible van is available if your mobility is limited. Please note that priority is given to the transportation of students with limited mobility.


Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS) provides consulting and referral services to the students, faculty, and staff of Grinnell College. These services include providing information on issues related to health and mental health; discussing ways to assist students; and collaborating with other campus groups to enhance students’ wellness and academic success.

If you have a question or concern about your health, a life problem, or your mental health, we encourage you to call for a brief phone consultation with a nurse or counselor. The person with whom you speak will be able to provide resources, ideas, and/or referrals for appropriate services. You may be recommended to make an appointment at SHACS. If your situation is urgent, you will be encouraged to come directly to SHACS.

We also encourage you to call to consult with us if you are worried about someone else.

Prescription Pick-Up

There are three pharmacies in Grinnell: Hy-Vee, Medicap, and Walmart. The first time you pick up a prescription, you will need to visit the pharmacy. Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS) can provide you transportation to the pharmacy. Thereafter, if you would like, Medicap and Hy-Vee will deliver your prescriptions to SHACS and you can pick them up here. If you take a prescription routinely, you will need to call your pharmacy to request your refills and to request delivery to SHACS. It is important that you call for your refill a few days before your current prescription runs out. Please note that Walmart does not deliver.

  • Hy-Vee pharmacy: 641-236-4287
  • Medicap pharmacy: 641-236-3663
  • Walmart pharmacy: 641-236-6333

Another way to pick up prescriptions at Walmart is by the PeopleRides shuttle. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the shuttle leaves the Rosenfield Center at 11 a.m. and leaves Walmart to return to campus at 12:15 p.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the shuttle leaves the Rosenfield Center at noon and leaves Walmart at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $1.50 each way and tickets may be purchased at the Grill, the Bookstore, and Campus Safety and Security. If you choose to pick up your prescriptions using the PeopleRides shuttle, make sure beforehand that your prescription is filled and ready for you.

Campus Safety and Security

If you are discharged from Grinnell Regional Medical Center after hours and need to pick up a prescription, Campus Safety and Security can take you to your pharmacy. Again, please be sure that your prescription has been filled and is ready for you to pick it up.


Student Health and Counseling Services (SHACS) is dedicated to health and mental health education and prevention. We present and consult on topics related to physical health, mental health, and wellness. Throughout the year, we offer a variety of workshops, talks, groups, and activities for students, faculty, and staff.

We are happy to collaborate in the educational efforts of student groups, professors, departments, and others around campus. Let us know if you are interested in working together. In order to enhance our ability to provide excellent educational services, please contact us well in advance of when you need us. We will do our best to meet your request.