Indigo Mason is the trailblazer behind the Campus Contraceptive Care Clinic (CCCC). I was able to interview them over Zoom and to say I was thrilled is an understatement. I met Indigo through the ACES Peer Health Education Program founded by the Center for Student Wellness and have collaborated with them on a number of things. Their work ethic and charisma never ceases to amaze me.
The CCCC officially opened in November of 2020, but the project has been long in the making. Indigo started researching contraceptive access during their freshman year of college and made it their mission to help launch this initiative. When I asked Indigo why this project was so important to them, they responded thoughtfully by telling me that it is jarring how impactful it is NOT giving people comprehensive information about contraception and that there are a lot of barriers that the 18-24-year-old age group faces to gain this information. Some of the biggest barriers include the cost of contraceptives, insurance, privacy, and lack of adequate sexual education in the good ol’ state of Utah. Stigma still surrounds sexual and reproductive health, and along with all of these other barriers, some individuals may also want to keep sexual activity private from their parents, which is difficult if they are on their parent’s insurance. Sexual health care is necessary healthcare and the CCCC is a free resource for students seeking contraceptive care.
The clinic is located within the Obstetrics & Gynecology Department at U of U Health. Undergraduate and graduate University of Utah students are eligible to receive care for all methods of contraception – the clinic provides birth control pills, IUDs, implants, fertility awareness methods (like apps), cervical rings, condoms, etc. People either think that everyone in college is having sex or no one in college is having sex – so you may be wondering if you have to be sexually active in order to receive help, and the answer is NO! The CCCC understands that contraceptives serve more than one purpose. The clinic is a judgment-free zone and a safe space for folks to ask trained professionals questions if they are curious about contraception. There are so many anecdotal stories on how different methods affect different people, and the clinic is a resource students can utilize to debunk myths and false perceptions and find a contraceptive method that best suits them. If students are looking to receive help, they shouldn’t feel stressed about trying to get something scheduled. Students can still receive services over the break and into the next semester! The CCCC is operating virtually during the pandemic, which allows flexibility for folks looking for prescriptions during a time when it can be difficult to do so. Students can set up virtual appointments for counseling, and providers can send prescriptions to their client’s pharmacy of choice. Home delivery options are also available. Implants, IUDs, and shots require in-person visits, though, as these procedures are done within the clinic.
The clinic hopes to connect students to more affordable care, as contraceptive care is expensive. The clinic aims to reduce financial stress and, for this reason, is free to all students. The only thing you need in order to be eligible is your UCard or provide your UID. Another goal the CCCC hopes to accomplish is to provide contraceptive counseling in order for students to feel more comfortable talking about sexuality and become more familiar with their bodies. Lastly, the clinic aims to connect students to different resources so they still have access to contraceptive methods after graduation.
What makes the CCCC so unique is that the people who staff the clinic are specifically trained and interested in serving young adults. They are very passionate about what they do and rest assured, all staff has gone through rigorous training to ensure that care is patient-centered. The most unique aspect of the CCCC is that it formed out of student research. The partnership between students, administration, and providers is not something found in most clinics. The students were at the center of this initiative and they addressed gaps that are unique to the college experience.
Indigo was committed to ensure that there would be no-cost contraceptive care for students by the time they graduated and they accomplished just that! Their hard work and dedication produced this amazing initiative and I am so proud to know them. If you are interested in seeking care through the CCCC, you can schedule an appointment by calling (801)213-1398!