Volunteers will screen students for depression

Caleb Jenkins

Volunteers will screen students for depression today in Student Center

A free depression screening, hosted by Psychological Services, University Health Services and Coca-Cola, will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today on the second floor of the Student Center.

“The whole process from start to finish is between 15 and 20 minutes,” said John Schell, clinical psychologist and coordinator for the depression screening. “About 60 volunteers are present for the screening with at least four screening tables going on at once.”

The screening form is assessed by volunteers from Psychological Services, Psychological Clinic and the Counseling and Human Development Center.

Results will be discussed confidentially with the student, staff or faculty member.

“Participation has increased over the last few years,” Schell said. “Last year, between 350 and 500 students participated in the screening.”

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, only 20 percent of people with major depression receive adequate treatment. It also said 43 percent of people with depression receive no treatment at all.

“Many students do not recognize the signs of depression and are surprised to learn that they may be at risk or may actually be experiencing some of the symptoms,” Schell said.

After discussing the results of the screen, students are recommended to an appropriate on-campus clinic and given information about further assistance.

The depression screening is also an opportunity for those with concerns about mental health to get help and information from professional volunteers. In addition to screening tables, informational tables will be supplied with informational handouts on such mental health related concerns as depression, stress, anxiety, substance abuse and suicide.

As for give-aways, two $250 scholarships and an iPod Nano – donated by Coca-Cola – will be raffled. Coupons for free smoothies were donated by Pulp Juice & Smoothie Bar and will be given away, along with food and other small handouts.

Contact student health reporter Caleb Jenkins [email protected].