Depression Screening Day yields largest turnout in program history


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

Samantha Ickes

The University Health Services and Psychological Services teamed up with the Office of Health Promotion to sponsor the annual screening for National Depression Screening Day on Thursday.

“It lets people know where they stand in terms of mental health,” said John Schell, co-coordinator of the depression screening.

Schell said a few years back, 900 students attended the screening. Though this year’s attendance has not yet been calculated, Schell said the turnout this year exceeded previous years.

Carrie Berta, co-coordinator of the event, said the screening involved a questionnaire that participants filled out, which included criteria consistent with depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms.

Clinicians met with participants a the screenings to review their scores, make recommendations and refer them to other services such as counseling after the questionnaire was completed.

Berta said mental health plays a huge role in the academic success of a student.

“Many mental health issues affect people’s general functions, their ability to concentrate (and) the amount of sleep they get, which can all impact a student’s academic success,” she said.

Students from organizations including Public Health Student Alliance, Psi Chi psychology national honor society, American Medical Students Association and the Psychology Club volunteered at the depression screening.

Many of the student volunteers were involved in health fields such as public health, health promotion or psychology.

“Even though I’m not certified to give them counseling, I’m still able to help them,” said Dawn Pressley, a second year graduate student majoring in public health. “Being a public health major, that’s what I want to do. That’s my passion.”       

If any students interested in a depression screen missed the event, a 24-hour online screening questionnaire is available here.

Contact Samantha Ickes at [email protected].