5 Tips for Fact Checking Health Content Online

Technology is an amazing thing. 24/7/365, you have information available at the tips of your fingers. Which is helpful when trying to find information related to your health or the health of a loved one.

Whether you are searching on Google, YouTube, Reddit, TikTok or another social media platform, the challenge is to find a reliable source for the information you seek.

Billions of people use social media each day for news, information, to connect socially with others. And all of these users are contributing to the unimaginable amount of content being uploaded every minute.

Some of this content is valuable and helpful but the accessibility of the internet has created a platform for users to post information that is misleading or just not true. Social media gives everyone a voice to post whatever information they want, no expertise required.

Have you ever watched a TikTok and thought to yourself, “Is this statement/statistic/fact true?” You are not alone, and this critical thinking skill will help with fact checking the information you are consuming online. Read the below tips for finding reliable information online:

  1. Check the web address

Who owns the website or social media page and who is responsible for posting content? Read thoroughly to determine who the owner is and their credibility. In general, you can find trusted health content on both government (.gov) and university/college (.edu) websites. Non-profit groups (.org) can also provide reliable health information. But .org web addresses can be tricky because .org can be used by both for-profit and non-profit businesses.

  1. Determine the purpose

Determine what kind of account and post you are looking at, is this someone’s personal opinion, an advertisement, a news report? For websites, go to the “About Us” page and do some reading. This page will explain the purpose of the website, which should be able to provide education and awareness. If the purpose is to promote a product or service, the health information may not be reliable.

Social media influencers posting health advice are generally not a qualified professional, fact check their post against a credible source to get the full story.

  1. Assess the evidence

Just because something is viral or has a high number of likes, shares, and comments does not make it accurate or true. Websites and social media pages posting health facts or figures should provide solid evidence of that content. They might cite published, peer-reviewed articles or other sources to learn more information. If they don’t cross check the information with another reliable source.

  1. Assess the reviewer

When was this information reviewed last? Websites should state who reviewed the health information it presents; it will list the person’s medical credentials (such as MD or RN).

Does the social media post direct you back to where they found this information or what medical professional they are referencing? If not, cross check the information.

  1. Check the date

Websites with health content will list when this content was last updated or reviewed to ensure accuracy. Make sure this date is recent because health information needs to be current.

When finding information online, use your critical thinking skills to find reliable sources to help inform your health decisions. For more information, visit the National Institutes of Health – how to Evaluate Health Information on the Internet webpage.


-Jordan Helcbergier, Wellness Coordinator

Are You Scamming Me? How to Spot a Scam Email in Seconds

We are connected all day every day. Through text, social media, and email we are constantly getting bombarded with information and communication. With all of these avenues to connect, there also comes more opportunities for scam attempts by someone looking to take advantage.

Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to determine if an email or text is a scam.

Digital Security Company, Aura, provides the quick following questions to ask to spot a scam communication in seconds. When looking at a suspicious email ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you know the sender?
  • Is this an unsolicited email from someone claiming to work for an organization like the FBI or IRS?
  • Is the sender asking for sensitive information like personal details or financial information?
  • Is the subject link strange, with unusual punctuation and characters?
  • Does the sender’s email address and “from” name match? (You can hover over or click on their name to reveal their email address.)
  • Is the sender’s email from a suspicious domain name? (i.e. ebay-support.com)
  • Is the email asking you to click on a link, open a cloud storage document, or download a file?
  • Is the sender using urgent or threatening language to get you to act?
  • Is the entire email embedded on an image or iframe?
  • Are there any grammatical or spelling errors in the email?
  • Is the offer in the email too good to be true?

Taking a few seconds after receiving a suspicious email or text, can make a big difference.

If you do spot scam communication –

Practicing smart technology privacy and security can improve your personal digital wellness. For more support check out the Student Life Student Wellness Center’s Digital Wellness information page and the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation’s IT for Students page.

If you are the victim of a scam, contact Student Legal Services for free and/or low-cost legal support.


How To Tell If An Email Is From a Scammer [With Examples] | Aura

-Jordan Helcbergier, Wellness Coordinator

How to Vocalize Your Healthcare Needs and Ask that Question!

Going to the doctor can be intimidating. There is a real power dynamic between patient and healthcare provider that no one really talks about. This can cause a large barrier when trying to advocate for your healthcare needs and can get in the way of preventative care.

A relationship with a healthcare provider should be one built on trust, respect, and shared decision making. Below are some strategies for feeling more empowered and comfortable during your next doctor’s appointment.

Start by finding a healthcare provider you trust. Whether you are looking for a dentist, general practitioner, or a mental health counselor; you need to find someone who best fits your personal needs. Building a relationship on trust and respect is important, if you do not feel like you are getting that from your healthcare provider, it might be time to switch.

Remind yourself that answering your questions is part of a provider’s job description. You are not burdening or being annoying by asking questions. Follow-up questions lets your provider know that you need further clarification to make the most informed decision as it relates to your healthcare needs. Remember no question is too embarrassing or personal, your doctor has probably seen and heard it all.

If just the thought of asking personal questions during a doctor’s appointment brings about sweaty hands and a stressed mind, try rehearsing or writing down questions to bring to the appointment ahead of time. By writing down any questions or notes ahead of time, you will feel more prepared to bring up concerns during the appointment. This will help you to organize thoughts and it will be a little reminder of what you wanted to bring up in case your nerves get the best of you.

If you are feeling rushed, uncomfortable, or worried, vocalize that to your doctor. There are options to make you feel more comfortable during the visit, including bringing a friend or family member or requesting to have a nurse or other healthcare practitioner present during the appointment. And if you feel like you need more time, ask the doctor to schedule a follow up visit.

To prepare for your next doctor’s visit, write down and bring with you:

  • A full list of your medications and dosages, as well as any other supplements you are taking and how often.
  • A list of symptoms you would like to address during the appointment.
  • If you are discussing pain, bring notes on the pain rating, how often, and any descriptive language to help the doctor understand what the pain feels like.
  • Are there any factors that may be affecting your symptoms (change in appetite, new life stressors, etc..)
  • Any questions you would like to have addressed during the appointment.

Let’s review. Your health is a priority. Take an active role by vocalizing your concerns and needs during your next appointment by preparing ahead of time. If you need a new practitioner do some research and make the switch. There is no better time than the present to schedule an appointment with your doctor to ask that question you have been putting off for ages.


As a student at The Ohio State University, you have access to a wide variety of healthcare providers and resources through the Wexner Medical Center, the Wilce Student Health Center, and Counseling and Consultation Service including their Community Provider Database. If you need to find a new doctor or schedule a visit with your current provider, take a few minutes after reading this post to get it done!

Other Resources:

Resources | Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ahrq.gov)


How to Prepare for a Doctor’s Appointment | National Institute on Aging (nih.gov)


-Jordan Helcbergier (she/her), Wellness Coordinator

Phubbing is an Uncool Norm: 3 Simple Strategies to be More Present with Others

Picture this: you are sitting at dinner with your friends after a long day of classes, when all of a sudden you look up and everyone at the table is staring at their phones – not talking. Everyone is ignoring one another to consume whatever is on their device.  The digital wellness community refers to this phenomenon as phubbing.

Phubbing is defined by the Digital Wellness Institute as, “the practice of ignoring one’s companion(s), in order to pay attention to one’s phone or other mobile device.”

If you find yourself doing this frequently throughout the day, you are not alone. Studies show that 48% of people report phubbing others 2-3 times or more per day. And 56% indicate that they are phubbed 2-3 times or more per day.

Phubbing has a negative impact on our relationships and even our mental health, with phubbing causing feelings of exclusion and rejection. Phubbing causes us to have less meaningful conversations with others and those who phub come off as less polite and attentive.

While our phones are a great social tool to connect with others who are not physically nearby, technology is putting a divide in the face-to-face interactions we have with others. And we are normalizing it in our community.

To make a change for more meaningful relationships, conversations and overall interactions. Prioritize these three easy steps in your daily routine.

  1. Practice mindfulness. A lot of people assume mindfulness is just meditation, but it is so much more than that! We all have the opportunity to move through our day mindfully. This means paying attention and being fully present in the moment with ourselves and others aka not checking our phone in the middle of a conversation. Embrace all of your senses and really take notice of your surrounding environment: who is with you, what are you hearing, seeing, etc. what are your emotions in this moment?
  2. Set technology free boundaries with friends and family. When getting together with family and friends, vocalize that you would like this to be a technology free hang out. If necessary, put phones in another room to focus on spending quality time with one another.
  3. Call out phubbing when you see it and apologize when you do it. Tell your family and friends that you are making the conscious effort to be more present in your interactions. Call them out when they are on their phones and tell them to do the same to you! If you notice yourself phubbing, no need to be hard on yourself, apologize and do better moving forward.

Set this goal, enjoy the memories you are making rather than focusing on the instagrammable moments or what others are doing. Be more present in your interactions and celebrate the positive impacts it has on your relationships, conversations, and overall interactions.

If you feel like you need help separating yourself from your devices, seek help at one of the many support resources on campus. For mild or moderate concerns visit the Student Life Student Wellness Center’s Wellness Coaching program or for more severe concerns visit a team member at Counseling and Consultation Service.


Digital Wellness Institute

-Jordan Helcbergier, Wellness Coordinator

Destigmatizing Mental Health

Lots of folks struggle with January in Ohio: it’s cold, it’s dark, and we are adjusting to a new semester. Maybe your winter break wasn’t everything you hoped for, or maybe it was awesome and it’s hard to be back on campus. It is not uncommon to feel sad or listless, and folks may experience anything from a touch of the “Winter Blues” to Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s okay to acknowledge you’re struggling, and to reach out to supportive others and ask for what you need.  


  • Not into New Year’s Resolutions that invariably fizzle after a few weeks? Consider reaching out to a Wellness Coach at the Student Wellness Center to help you identify and set SMART goals instead. 
  • If you set goals but are having difficulty making progress, take a closer look at what is working and what is getting in the way.  
  • Take advantage of the fresh start that the new semester brings and prioritize academic strategies. Reach out to the Dennis Learning Center, which offers free academic coaching and tips and strategies on test-taking, reducing procrastination, and improving your memory. 
  • It can be easy to “hibernate” during these cold months try to intentionally connect with your communities. Consider checking out RPAC’s group fitness classes, or joining a student organization. Student Activities manages over 1,400 student groups! 

Mental Health Tips 

  • How do you set effective goals and increase your odds of successfully meeting them? Making Change (In a Nutshell)   

Current Events 

CCS Services 

  • Drop in for a workshop on Creative Writing for Mental Health, Beating Anxiety, or Building Mastery: Skills for a Drama Free Life.
  • Group therapy is the most effective treatment for Social Anxiety. Check out our group therapy schedule – these groups meet weekly and address a variety of needs and concerns. 
  • Talk to your primary care provider about using a full-spectrum light to counter these short, dark days – lights are available in the CCS offices. 


 – CCS welcomes a new collaboration with Student Life’s Center for Belonging and Social Change. Dr. Darreon Greer now serves students and provides consultation to faculty and staff from his office in the Ohio Union. Increasing access by bringing CCS services to where students are is a good thing. Go.osu.edu/DrGreer 

Provided by the Office of Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service Staff

You, Me, and Technology: How to Navigate the Uninvited 3rd Wheel in Our Relationships

Technology has brought about amazing tools to connect and foster relationships with those who are not physically nearby. With so many new options for communication such as text messaging, email, social media and video calls, you have the opportunity to connect with people all over the world.

The advancement of technology has undoubtedly provided benefits to how we start and sustain our interpersonal relationships.

Technology is quickly becoming the norm in how a lot of our relationships begin. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 1 in 5 relationships and 1 in 6 marriages begin online. With nearly 8,000 dating sites in the world, it is easy to see how this number will only continue to grow.

Friendships, romantic relationships, even how you interact with your family has shifted and changed because of the presence of technology. Our interactions now are vastly different than those even just 20 years ago.

With this change in interaction and communication, there must also be a change in how we approach our relationships. Technology plays a role and, unfortunately, for some, it can cause conflict and divide. The amount of social media use, how much is being shared online, and jealousy can all create problems within a relationship.

One issue technology can create is distance in relationships. Whether you are not having deep conversations face to face or are choosing to hide behind a text to express feelings, neither is beneficial in developing a relationship built on open communication and honesty.

By communicating expectations and setting clear boundaries, you can create a more supportive environment for your relationship to thrive. Some examples of topics to discuss and boundaries to potentially put in place:

  • Putting the devices away at mealtime.
  • Setting clear expectations for how public or private do you want to be online.
  • Exploring instances of jealousy – if you feel drawn to checking in on your partners social media and feel jealous of their interactions. Explore where your insecurities are and communicate your needs to your partner.
  • Leaving your phones in another room when going to bed
  • Allocating certain times throughout the day to be ‘phone-free time’ – phone free dates is also a great idea!
  • Don’t get out your phone from your pocket/backpack/bag as soon as you get to your destination. If it never leaves your bag there is less
  • temptation to look at it. Exception here – if you are letting someone know you arrived safely, but then put it away!

When you are sitting on your devices instead of interacting, you are not enjoying shared experiences which can help to foster and build relationships. To remedy this, find activities to enjoy together, i.e. instead of playing games on your devices while sitting in the same room, get out a board game and play together. This is just one example, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy a shared experience on campus. Visit the Student Activities website to view their events calendar and plan your tech-free date/hang out for spring semester!

Ohio State, including Student Life Counseling and Consultation Service, has relationship related resources.

-Jordan Helcbergier, Wellness Coordinator

Photo by Jo McCulty

Winter Blues and Addressing SAD

Winter is upon us. The autumn semester is wrapped up, and many of us  swiftly put behind us those end-of-semester projects, research papers and final exams that  crept up way too quickly.

The winter blues leave us feeling out of touch with our natural routine and our body’s circadian rhythm. You may be feeling changes in your mood, your energy levels, or withdrawal from social interactions that make it hard just to get through the day.  Many of these symptoms describe Seasonal Affective Disorder or also known as seasonal depression, that usually emerges during months with dark and colder weather. You are not alone. Many students on campus are feeling this way, and here are some tips to help you ease into the winter season.


  1. Get some sunshine. Wake up a bit earlier to get 15 minutes of morning sun before classes or have meals outside or in a sunny spot indoors. Even on cold or cloudy days, natural light can help.
  2. Discover some hobbies. Hobbies are a wonderful way to get your mood up and socialize. Check out activities offered to you at your dorm or organizations on campus.
  3. Get Moving. Exercise can be a great way to release some stress from school or work and is a great way to find time to be outdoors as well.
  4. Create a routine. Create a schedule for when to wake up and go to sleep to avoid excessive sleeping or napping throughout the day. This can also help you find time to work on hobbies or extracurriculars in your schedule.

If these steps do not feel like enough, here is a free resource on campus that can guide you through the winter blues. The Student Wellness Center offers Wellness Coaching to all students. It provides opportunities to gain awareness regarding your capacity to create the life you want to live, both now and in the future. Wellness coaching takes a positive approach to personal development to generate meaningful goals for you.

Other Resources Available:
Counseling and Consultation Services

Student Health Services

Recreational Sports


-Shruti Asodaria, Wellness and Outreach Graduate Student Assistant