AUGUST 24, 2021 — As the fall 2021 semester begins, UTSA students have access to expanded health care services, provided by UT Health San Antonio at a new clinic on campus. In addition, all students now have access to My Student Support Program (MySSP), a service that offers free, confidential online counseling and mental health support through real-time chat or phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Finally, UTSA is launching a student services area in the division of Student Affairs with resources focusing on the overall well-being of students. Collectively, the partnership between the two institutions ensures that UTSA will be able to implement holistic services aligned with current national best practices that promote student success and build a foundation for healthy living.
“In Academic Affairs, we recognize that health and resilience are intimately linked in advancing the success of our UTSA students,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at UTSA. “UTSA is thrilled to collaborate and partner in new ways to support our Roadrunner students with these expanded services beginning this fall.”
UT Health San Antonio’s Wellness 360 nurse practitioner-led clinic offers a holistic approach to health care with an expanded range of primary care and preventive health services conveniently located in the Recreation and Wellness Center building. Comprehensive services now provided include acute care, health screenings, immunizations, diagnostic bloodwork, nutrition/fitness education and counseling, annual physicals, well-women’s exams and other routine health assessments, LGBTQ+ health care services, and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections. Students can make in-person appointments and telemedicine visits through a patient portal, MyHealth.
“We are pleased to provide health care for students at UTSA, as our commitment to patient-centered care is seen in the compassion of our nurse practitioners and licensed experts of Wellness 360,” said Cindy Sickora, DNP, RN, vice dean of practice and engagement with the UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing. “As nurses, our model of care brings together the physical and mental health of the patient, which is what we mean by a holistic approach to health care.”
Based on a successful pilot last year, access to MySSP has been expanded to all students. MySSP provides 24/7 free, confidential online counseling and mental health support through real-time chat or phone. Students can download the MySSP app for easy access. UTSA counseling and mental health professionals continue to be available in person or online by calling 210-458-4140 (option 2).
New in the division of Student Affairs is Wellbeing Services, the integrated student services area aligned with UTSA’s Enriching Campus Wellbeing Initiative, which focuses on the well-being of each member of the campus community. Wellbeing Services integrates health education, promotion and support services to provide a comprehensive approach to student well-being. A variety of workshops, trainings, events and outreach opportunities will be available to students, including on coping skills, suicide prevention and bystander intervention, in addition to the comprehensive integrated health care services brought to campus by Wellness 360.
“UTSA recognizes the impact that the ongoing pandemic has had on our students’ physical and mental well-being,” said Melissa Hernandez, who has been serving as interim associate dean of students for wellbeing since June 1. “We are expanding the services available to make it easier for all of our students to seek help and access the care they need.”
UTSA Wellbeing Services encompasses advocacy, prevention and education efforts through Wellbeing Education and Promotion, PEACE Center and Recovery Center, covering topics such as sexual assault prevention, substance use, safer sex, eight dimensions of well-being and the effects of anxiety and stress.
“Our approach to clinical services, prevention, education, advocacy and skill-building efforts is holistic, acknowledging that students bring their whole self to the academic environment,” said LT Robinson, senior vice provost and dean of students. “Our partners share our primary goal of helping students succeed.”
UTSA and UT Health San Antonio first announced the formation of their inter-institutional partnership in April of 2021, when UT Health San Antonio became the official health care provider for UTSA Athletics, offering student-athletes access to the health science center’s distinguished physicians and clinicians for primary care, orthopedics, physical therapy, imaging and surgical services. In June of 2021, the partnership was expanded when UTSA announced that UT Health San Antonio would be providing integrated and expanded clinical services for student health, counseling and mental health needs.
UT Health San Antonio will also build a major community outpatient center on UTSA’s Park West Campus that will ultimately support the sports medicine program for UTSA student-athletes and has the potential to provide future collaborative opportunities in academics, research and health care delivery.
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
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UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
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