RISE office has free products open for students to take

RISE has a section outside of their office, in Drane Hall room 247, for students to be able to get condoms and feminine products for free.

The Risk Intervention and Safety Education office, Parkridge Pregnancy Medical Center and Student Health Services are accessible and free resources for young adults seeking assistance in personal wellness. These initiatives provide sexual, menstrual, physical and general health resources to those who want or need it.

RISE’s mission is to promote a culture that values holistic wellness by educating students to make informed choices and treat each other with respect. RISE focuses on different types of health and wellness like physical, mental, sexual, spiritual and financial health. 

“Essentially our office we like to say is a one stop shop for all things wellness,” RISE peer education president Esmerelda Aguilera said. “We talk about a variety of areas of wellness that we think encompasses what a healthy college student feels and looks like.”

The RISE office provides physical resources for students, does class presentations, table showcases and blogs for students. They also have the Raider Recharge Program where students can come in if they feel they are lacking in some area of wellness, and a coach will help them get back on track.

The RISE office provides sexual health resources like lubricant, dental dams and different types of condoms: non-latex, sensitive, extra strength, different sizes, textured. 

“If you’re choosing to have sex, there’s risks that come with that,” Aguilera said. “There’s (sexually transmitted infection) risks, unplanned pregnancies. If you’re choosing to do it, you’re putting yourself at risk, but there’s no shame in these things actually happening to you.”

The office also provides menstrual health resources like pads, tampons and diva cups all which are all free and accessible to all students and faculty. 

“As for menstrual health products, there’s no shame in something that is completely natural, and we work really hard to break that stigma as well,” Aguilera said.

All of the sexual and menstrual health products are located in a glass case outside of the RISE office located in Drane Hall 247 next to a variety of informational resource sheets. Baggies are provided and students can grab what they need to without speaking to anyone.

“All of us come from different backgrounds, different educational backgrounds,” Aguilera said. “In Texas, sexual health education is not super prominent in high school, so a lot of students come in with questions and doubts, and we don’t want them to feel ashamed about that. We just want to educate them and make sure they are making informed decisions. 

“We never try to tell a student what to do or what not to do,” Aguilera said. “We just want to give them all the facts and all the information so they can make their best informed decision. We celebrate any choice a student makes as long as it’s safe and consensual.” 

RISE discontinued sexually transmitted disease testing during COVID due to the focus of the Lubbock Health Department on COVID testing and vaccines. However the office will hold one day this semester where STI testing will be free and available for students. 

“We’re in a high risk environment,” Aguilera said. “People are going to get STDs, people are going to get STIs, it’s just gonna happen. We want (students) to feel safe enough to call us right away so we can point them in the right direction for these resources.”

The RISE office does not handle pregnancy resources however, they will direct students who are seeking information to the Title IX office. Title IX will assist both the pregnant person and the person who impregnated them. Title IX can work with students for accommodations like closer parking, breastfeeding time excuses for professors and homework extensions.

RISE is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, for further questions, students can call 806-742-2110 or email RISE@ttu.edu.

Another on-campus resource for young adults and women is Student Health Services. SHS has different women’s health services like routine annual wellness exams, contraception, STI testing and treatment and evaluation and treatment for other gynecological health issues.

According to the Student Health Services website, students should have an annual wellness exams once a student turns 18 years old or if they become sexually active. 

SHS provides different contraceptive methods like birth control pills, the NuvaRing, insertion of the intrauterine device, insertion of the Nexplanon implant and administration of the Depo-Provera shot. Emergency contraception is available at the Student Wellness Center Pharmacy and condoms provided by RISE are available in the Student Wellness Center lobby.

To schedule an appointment at SHS, call 806-743-2848 or request an appointment through MyTeamCare.

A local, off-campus resource for women is Parkridge, a nonprofit women’s health clinic. Parkridge was established in 1993 and has been working in Lubbock and surrounding counties for about 30 years. The clinic provides medical services for women in a confidential atmosphere.

“We specialize in serving women and their partners and families who encounter an unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection,” chief operations officer Lindsay Christansen said. “Parkridge seeks to empower individuals to make informed choices. 

Christiansen said Parkridge is staffed with medical team members, professional counselors and trained advocates who provide a professional, safe and non-judgemental experience for patients. All of Parkridge’s services are free and no insurance or Medicaid is needed to make an appointment or receive services.

“As a non-profit, we exist to serve any woman in our community who is seeking one of our medical services,” Christiansen said. “At this time, we do not provide STI testing for men, yet we provide them with local referrals for that service.”

The services that Parkridge provides are pregnancy testing, ultrasound confirmation, pregnancy options education, STD and STU testing and treatment. It also provides confidential counseling, after abortion support and different groups and classes.

 “When we ask for patient feedback, we most often hear, ‘thank you for listening, helpful information, not (being) judgemental,’” Christiansen said. “We take the time to listen, ask good questions and support women as they make informed and thoughtful decisions about their health and their future.”

For more information or to schedule an appointment at Parkridge can do so online or by calling (806) 794-8555. Parkidge’s office is open Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

 “Making an appointment for an STI test is taking control of your health,” Christiansen said. “Seeking medically accurate information and intentional support with a pregnancy decision is being smart, not scared. Everyone deserves a safe place to go when making these decisions.”

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