By Courtney Fox
School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) are strategically located in schools, giving students easy access to comprehensive care. Students need to be healthy in order to learn and grow in school, so why not bring health care to them? Here are six ways that school-based health centers support kids:
1. SBHCs Decrease Student Absences
Because health centers are just steps away, health-related absences are significantly decreased. When absences among students are decreased, graduation rates are then increased. Students no longer have to miss school and parent no longer have to miss work to provide their children with the healthcare they need.
2. SBHCs Provide Immunizations and Check-ups
It is a well-known fact that students have to be healthy to perform well in school. Students need a proper breakfast, adequate sleep, and to be physically active. A school-based health center helps students remain healthy by providing immunizations and well-checks. Some school-based health centers even offer information on a healthy diet and lifestyle.
3. SBHCs Offer Mental Health Services
Students’ mental health is just as crucial as their physical health when it comes to school performance. With more people opening up about their mental health issues, students can do so as well at their school-based health center.
4. SBHCs help treat Obesity and Asthma
School-based health centers go above and beyond than what a single school nurse could provide. The health professionals at the health centers succeed in preventing and treating conditions like obesity and asthma.
5. SBHCs Support the Greater Community
School-based health care not only provides care to students, but also the surrounding population. Most school-based health centers are located in communities with lower-income and underprivileged populations. School-based health centers, therefore, serve populations that otherwise would not have access to medical care.
6. SBHCs Reduce Emergency Care Usage
The convenience of school-based health centers also significantly reduces emergency care visits. Lower-income families usually turn to emergency care for treatment because they lack a primary physician. With school-based health centers, they now have reliable medical care.
Courtney Fox is interning with SCHA-MI while pursuing a degree in Social Relations and Policy at Michigan State University. After college, she hopes to remain in the education field to help better our public schools.