New Self-Care Station Provides Students 24/7 Access to Free Healthcare Products

New Self-Care Station Provides Students 24/7 Access to Free Healthcare Products

Jan 27, 2020

—By Thomas Maye, Publications Intern

Until recently, the McCarthy Campus Center alcove by the third floor stairwell was only home to a soda and candy machine.

Now, students can find a 24/7 "Self-Care Station" complete with healthcare items such as flu medicine, contraceptives, and menstrual products - all offered free of charge.

The Health Center and SEALS Peer Health Educators unveiled the station to a huddled crowd of students, faculty, and administrators on Thursday, January 23 during a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Ilene Hofrenning, director of the Health Center, said the Self-Care Station was made in an effort to reduce barriers to student health access in a centralized, convenient location.

"The feedback we always get is [that] the health center should be open more hours," she said. "We tried to come up with ways we could provide more outreach and services to students without breaking the bank, and that’s why we decided to do the Self-Care Station."

Set up on a $2,000 budget, student leaders were involved in the process from the beginning, helping set up "kits" to put in the machine, getting information on student needs, and participating in committee meetings.

Senior Molly Roach, a member of SEALS for three years, said, "It took a long time to get this together, [and] there was a lot of people involved, but we’re really excited that we can finally share it with you and that everyone can use it."

Students can find informational resources inside each kit, along with a QR code which links to a survey to provide feedback to the Health Center on how they can improve.

Pamela Lehmberg, coordinator of Wellness Education, said the health products in the vending machine were available on an as-needed basis. "You don’t have to take a whole lot - they'll still be there tomorrow," she said.

In addition, the Self-Care Station also features a MindKare Behavioral Health kiosk, which provides confidential assessment tools and information about mental illnesses.

Spirits were high as attendants to the event expressed positive views toward the program's future.

"I'm hoping this will benefit a lot of students," Olivia Beverlie, SEAL and student trustee, said.

About Framingham State University

Framingham State University was founded in 1839 as the nation’s first public university for the education of teachers. Since that time, it has evolved into a vibrant, comprehensive liberal arts institution offering small, personalized classes on a beautiful New England campus. Today, the University enrolls more than 6,000 students with 58 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and professional fields. As a State College and University (SCU), Framingham State prides itself on quality academic programs, affordability, and commitment to access for all qualified students.