Opinion: Depression screening event lends helping hand

Mica Pflug

Kent State held its annual community-wide series of depression screenings this past week, an opportunity for students, staff, faculty and members of the community to confront mental health issues in a free and confidential manner.

Oct. 5 is known throughout the country as National Depression Screening Day, and Kent State is an active participant in shedding light on the issue.

Although generally labeled as a depression screening, the survey actually scans for three other mental health issues in addition to depression: generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder.

This year’s event took place on the second floor of the Student Center, along with other Kent campuses. The screening welcomed participants to fill out a questionnaire about themselves, their feelings, thoughts, moods and tendencies, and then allowed them to discuss the results of their answers with a mental health professional after.

Participating in National Depression Screening Day is just one of the resources Kent State offers to aid students in their success and overall wellness. Mental health is often a tough place to navigate and can be scary to go through alone. 

The screenings can help provide support and information on how to go about dealing with mental health.

After participating, the program goes one step further to then provide you with any information you might want on where to get further assistance. Flyers and pamphlets were available for participants to take, detailing other resources on campus for help with mental health issues, including free group workshops, ways to contact qualified individuals at Psychological Services and information regarding how to be more aware and careful of yourself and those around you in regard to mental health.

The depression screenings are helpful to provide emotional support through in-person interaction, where your results can be discussed with a qualified individual. The confidential nature of the screening is also beneficial to providing ease of mind for the participant so they may be comfortable answering the questions truthfully.

Last, offering the screening for free greatly benefits the accessibility of the event itself.

Please remember that you are not alone. If you are dealing with something difficult, there are several resources available for you to take advantage of. National Depression Screening Day is just one way to get some help or advice on a mental health issue, so please reach out when you need a hand.

Kent State’s Psychological Services can be reached at 330-672-2487.

Mica Pflug is a columnist, contact her at [email protected].