By Marissa Bean
National Depression Screening Day was October 9th.
In accordance to the national observance, mental health screenings were held on campus last week. The screenings took place in the RCC and the ECC.
According to a press release from Donna Schiavo, a counselor at the Counseling Center, “National Depression Screening Day raises awareness and screens people for depression and mood disorders and allows individuals to identify warning signs and connect with the appropriate treatment resources. Similar to many physical illnesses, early recognition and treatment offers the best opportunity for recovery from mental illness.”
Students attending the screening were provided a form to fill out. The form included basic questions regarding age, gender and residence status.
The form also had questions pertaining to depression, such as whether the student was feeling hopeless, losing interest in activities, or contemplating suicide.
The survey continued with questions relating to bipolar disorder, general anxiety disorder (GAD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as asking students to include whether or not they have received treatment for any of these illnesses before.
Upon completion of the form, students brought their responses to a representative from the Counseling Center. Their responses were totaled, and based on answers provided, the student was informed if their results were consistent with any of the disorders.
Students were given pamphlets from the Counseling Center, located in the Wellness Center in Weygand Hall. There were sheets about depression, separation anxiety, stress management, and mental health resources for athletes.
All screenings were anonymous. 106 students participated in the screenings, according to Schiavo. It is important to stress that the screenings did not and cannot diagnose students with any disorder.
According to Schiavo, “the screenings are not diagnostic, they will determine if a student is exhibiting symptoms associated with depression and other mood disorders and if they should seek help.”
There will be more screenings on campus in the coming months. A screening for eating disorders will be held in February, followed by a screening in April for alcohol misuse.
More information and an anonymous online screening for depression can be found at www.mentalhealthscreening.org
Marissa Bean is a Comment staff writer. You can follow her on Twitter at @MarLaur16.