Denver Correia breaks down confusing guidance to help students access healthcare and stay safe at university.
Taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing has never been more important than now. Equipping yourself with the right resources is crucial, especially in times of health emergencies, when finding information could seem daunting. Whether you’re a fresher or a returning student, here is a useful guide to staying safe and healthy in Glasgow.
1. Registering with a GP
Registering with a GP is a crucial step to access services provided by NHS Scotland, regardless of whether you are full time, part-time, visiting or have already registered with your GP elsewhere. Your GP is a lifeline, providing both regular consultations and support during emergencies, so it's essential that you register as soon as possible.
This can be done either online or in person – just visit NHS Inform Scotland's Service Directory and enter your postcode to find your nearest GP. Alternatively, you can register with the on-campus Barclay's Medical Practice, located in the Fraser Building. Enrolling is easy, involving a few simple forms around your medical history. You will likely be asked for a form of ID, so make sure to have this, alongside proof of your address, at the ready.
The Scottish Government has recently approved free dental treatment to all adults under 26. Enrolling with your local dental practice isn't mandatory. Dental treatment is available on-demand by contacting a practice of your choice. Emergency treatment is available via NHS 24.
3: COVID-19 vaccines and tests
NHS Inform provides useful advice on Covid-19 care, testing and vaccinations, which are open to all students. It is currently recommended that students get a lateral flow test regularly, even if you don’t have symptoms and are vaccinated. NHS Inform also provides an online tool for symptom assessment.
Being up-to-date on other vaccinations such as MMR, Meningitis and Flu is also very important to avoid potential infections. These vaccinations are freely available at hospitals and GPs.
4: Sanitary products and sexual health
Sanitary products are free to all students in Scotland. The University of Glasgow provides a range of free sanitary products in several toilets & communal spaces at different sites on campus and halls. For a comprehensive list of locations visit the MyGlasgow Students Period webpage. Free contraceptives and testing kits for STIs are available locally from the Sandyford clinic, and HIV Scot.
5: Disability services
The UofG Disability Services are an essential contact for any students requiring disability related support or accommodations. New students who have disclosed a disability during registration will be contacted by the Disability Services early in the academic session. Current students can visit the Disability Service webpage for examination and learning support.
6: Physical fitness
Keeping fit is crucial to a healthy lifestyle, and if you live in University halls then you are entitled to a free Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA) membership. Otherwise, membership can be purchased online via GUSA website. Membership provides access to the University gyms, swimming pools, fitness classes, and GUSA Sport Clubs. Alternatively, Glasgow has lots on offer for exercise, from fantastic walking routes to Canoeing Club. Have a look at what societies are on offer and what is available around the city.
7: Mental Health
Maintaining a good balance can be challenging, and the University’s mental health support system works to assist anyone who is struggling with therapy and counselling services. After a quick needs assessment, an appointment can be booked via the MyGlasgow Counselling & Psychological Services webpage.
Additionally, resources such as Togetherall a 24x7 service available to all UofG Students & Staff, Clear Your Head Scotland and Glasgow University Nightline run by trained UofG student volunteers during term time, could provide essential assistance required at any instance. Talking to a GP is also useful for ongoing support and other resources.
Talking to someone when you feel low can be comforting, and Breathing Space Scotland provides this free, confidential service. Support for survivors of sexual violence is also available. Rape Crisis Scotland provides crisis support for anyone who needs it, and the Sandyford and your GP can point you towards further support.
Most importantly, ask for help when you need it. The SRC Advice Centre can be found at the McIntyre Building on University Avenue, and even if they don't have all the answers, they'll know someone who does!
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