No, I don’t mean the Jefferson Airplane song. I’m referring to an informative, accessible health tool aimed at college-age students. (It really applies to everyone, though.)

Go Ask Alice” is a health-related website created and maintained by Columbia University. From their about page:

It provides readers with reliable, accurate, accessible, culturally competent information and a range of thoughtful perspectives so that they can make responsible decisions concerning their health and well-being. Information provided by Go Ask Alice! is not medical advice and not meant to replace consultation with a health care professional.

Basically, think a combo of “everything you wanted to know about [insert health concern] but were afraid to ask” and newspaper advice column with reliable information.

The reason I like this website so much is how non-judgemental and accessible it is. Everything gets discussed. While sites like WebMD and the Mayo Clinic (online version) offer a range of in-depth medical information, they can at times be overwhelming – or over peoples’ heads. It’s all very well to talk about lifestyle changes for depression, but what about the writer who just wants to know “Will anti-anxiety meds make me a zombie?“. How about someone concerned about mismatched breasts?

These are the kinds of questions people are often afraid to ask their family – or university health center – doctor, because they’re often embarassing. Often, they should be asking their doctor – but it can take a push to get someone inside the door.

It’s certainly better than asking Yahoo Answers. (Have you seen the kinds of responses people give?)

So, if you want to ask a question, peruse other peoples’ questions, or just patroll for new and unusual medical information – Go Ask Alice is a fun and informative site.

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