Kent State takes part in National Depression Screening Day


A counselor screens a volunteer that completed a personal survey on National Depression Screening Day. Depression screenings were done in the Student Center on Oct. 9, 2014.

Brenna Parker

University Health Services, Psychological Services and the Office of Health Promotion are partnering to provide support to the Kent State community for National Depression Screening Day on Friday, Oct. 9.

Students, faculty and staff interested in getting information on depression, stress, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide can take part in a free 15-minute screening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second floor mezzanine in the Kent Student Center. National Depression Screening Day offers participants the opportunity to have a confidential mental health screening and discuss their results with a mental health professional.

University Health Services Senior Psychologist John Schell said National Depression Screening Day benefits the community as a whole. Schell said because of the screening students can become more aware of the signs and symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions.

“Students become more aware of the resources available, both on and off campus, that are available to assist them in terms of counseling or therapy,” Schell said. “By attending to their emotional and psychological needs, students can improve their quality of life, as well as their academic success.”

Jenny Preston, a graduate student pursuing a doctorate in counselor education and supervision, said the Counseling and Human Development Center in White Hall is made up of graduate students who provide more than 4,000 free hours of services a year to the Kent State community.

On National Depression Screening Day participants complete a form, rating various behaviors and symptoms they are experiencing. After receiving their score, participants have the opportunity to speak to a clinician and may be referred to one of Kent State’s clinics.

Schell said mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder affect an individuals overall health, quality of life and also one’s ability to become successful in school.

“College can be a stressful time,” Schell said. “There are a lot of big transitions, coupled with increased academic and social pressure. For some students, this can be too much, especially if the transition does not go well.”

National Depression Screening Day started in 1990 and is held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week in the first week in October.

“If a student does not find a constructive way to cope with the stress, it can result in a variety of mental health concerns including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or other destructive behaviors,” Schell said. “For these reasons, it is extremely important for students to be aware of their mental health and to take the necessary steps to stay healthy.”

For those who are interested in additional resources contact Psychological Services at DeWeese Health Center, Psychological Clinic in Kent Hall or the Counseling and Human Development Center in White Hall. 

Brenna Parker is the health reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].