SHACS offers integrated health and counseling services. Our nurses and therapists work closely together to offer you care appropriate for your needs.
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
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.
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.
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.
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)
SHACS encourages you to notice how you’re feeling and to be proactive in seeking care.
• If you think you might need to see a nurse or counselor, but you aren’t sure, call SHACS at 641-269-3230 for a quick phone consultation.
• If you are experiencing physical symptoms which are manageable but concern you, either
- self-schedule a nursing appointment using SHACS Online or
- call SHACS at 641-269-3230 to schedule an appointment
If you are attempting to schedule an appointment on line but do not find one that works well with your schedule, please call SHACS.
• If you are experiencing emotional distress or symptoms which are manageable but concern you,
- if you already have a therapist in Grinnell, at SHACS or off-campus, call him/her/hir
- if you do not have a therapist in Grinnell, call SHACS at 641-269-3230 to schedule an appointment
• If you believe you are having a medical or mental health emergency,
- come directly to SHACS (during business hours, when classes are in session)
- contact Campus Safety and Security at 641-269-4600 (24 hours per day, every day)
If you make an appointment at SHACS and are unable to keep it, please call to cancel. That way, another student can use that appointment time.
Your First Appointment: What to expect
When you arrive at SHACS for your appointment, you will check in electronically at the kiosk in the corner near our front door. When you are done checking in, stop at the receptionist’s desk. Your nurse, counselor, or psychiatrist will come to the waiting room to get you.
Beginning later this spring, before every nursing appointment at SHACS, you will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire. Your actual appointment may take between 10-30 minutes, depending on the nature of your symptoms. We encourage you to ask questions and make sure you understand what you need to do to feel better. The nurse you see will ask you questions about your symptoms, may check vital signs such as your temperature or blood pressure, and may provide you with triage care or over-the-counter medications, such as an ice pack or bandages. If the nurse feels that you may need more extensive or specialized treatment, you will be referred to a physician in the community or region or to the emergency room at Grinnell Regional Medical Center.
When you arrive for your first counseling appointment, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire with information about you (demographics), your symptoms, and your concerns. This will take approximately 5-10 minutes.
During your first counseling, nursing, or psychiatric appointment, your care provider will talk with you to review your immediate concerns, assess your symptoms, and discuss your relevant history. You will be encouraged to ask questions, make suggestions, and really partner with us in your care. You and your care provider will decide on a treatment plan. This plan may or may not include additional appointments at SHACS and/or referral(s) to off-campus care providers.
If you are referred to services off campus, we will ask for your permission to consult with those service providers about you. While you do not have to give us this authorization, we believe that such consultation improves everyone's ability to provide you with the best possible care. Consultation of this sort is the standard of care in the mental health and health professions.
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.
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 JRC at 11:00 a.m. and leaves Walmart to return to campus at 12:15 p.m. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the shuttle leaves the JRC at 12:00 p.m. 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.
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.