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The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Healthy and happy: A guide to NU health care resources

Illustration by Danny O’Grady
Make the best use of your health care options on campus with the help of this brief guide.

The infamous freshman flu — along with illnesses like strep throat, mononucleosis or something as unoriginal as a really bad cold — threaten every incoming freshman class, as well as other undergraduate students. Healthy habits can be a key defense, but no one is invincible. Make the best use of your health care options on campus with the help of this brief guide. 

Healthy habits in daily routines

Proper nutrition can create the foundation for keeping you happy and healthy as you transition into Northwestern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends students understand their nutritional needs before entering college. Age, sex, size and activity levels all influence a person’s needs. 

For students with religious or allergy restrictions, NU dining halls offer halal, kosher, non-dairy, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Students and parents can also arrange a complimentary meeting with registered dietician Madeline McDonough to develop an individual, inclusive dining plan, including meals made from scratch. 

Some dorms, such as 1838 Chicago and Willard Residential College, have their own fitness rooms. However, Henry Crown Sports Pavilion on North campus offers students the widest variety of workout options to keep themselves fit during the year. Between group workout classes, six indoor tennis courts, three basketball courts, a dedicated spin room and a seemingly endless 7000 square foot fitness room on the first floor, students have many opportunities to work new exercises into their routines.

If you fall ill

Students can schedule and manage appointments through the MyNM Patient Portal, which can either be virtual or in-person. 

Students can select one of three options when scheduling their appointment: sexual and reproductive health, sports medicine and general health. If these options don’t capture your needs, you can call the student health service during business hours, weekdays between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., to schedule an appointment.

Students needing urgent care for a physical illness or injury after regular business hours should call the After Hours Nurse Call Line. Also, the Northwestern Medicine Immediate Care Centers are open every day, including holidays, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. There is one location near campus, located at 1630 Sherman Ave. 


Northwestern requires all undergraduates to have health insurance and defaults most students each year into the Northwestern University Student Health Insurance Plan. 

Students with an alternative, comparable health insurance coverage can fill out a health insurance questionnaire through CAESAR during the open enrollment period of July 1 until October 1 to see if they qualify to waive their enrollment in NU-SHIP. Students intending to enroll in NU-SHIP are encouraged to confirm their enrollment as soon as possible. 

Students enrolled in NU-SHIP after the open enrollment period will be charged $5,144 for coverage of the plan year, which lasts until Aug. 31, 2024. Students can request financial assistance from the Undergraduate Financial Aid office to help cover the insurance premium. 

If you are an international student, you are required to enroll in NU-SHIP regardless of your health insurance status in your home country.

Mental health resources

NU’s Counseling and Psychological Services offers full-time students access to mental health services year round. Students can get started with CAPS either through a same-day walk-in appointment or through a scheduled initial assessment. Both options also allow virtual meetings.

CAPS uses a short-term treatment model for individual therapy but provides referral support for students seeking long-term therapy or specialized care. 

Three psychiatrists are available through CAPS to students on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses. The psychiatrists offer assessments, evaluations and medication consultation, but students are only eligible for psychiatric services if also enrolled in concurrent therapy through CAPS. 

For students enrolled in NU-SHIP, outpatient mental health care from an in-network provider costs up to $20 per visit. For care from an out-of-network provider, students pay a $20 copayment plus 20% of the remaining charge (NU-SHIP covers the other 80%). 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with mental health challenges, you can call the National Mental Health Hotline at 866-903-3787. 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MadisonBratley

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