Depression Screenings on Campus

ELIZABETH DENNIS
Staff Writer

The Center for Health and Wellness (CHEW) is advertising depression screenings around campus on both posters and quarter sheets.

In light of the new Mind, Body, Spirit Challenge they are proving their interest in the overall health of University students by including the importance of mental health. They are stressing the importance of destigmatizing mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, by encourage students to attend the screenings and better understand their mental health status.

The screenings are scheduled for Oct. 3 and 5 on the second floor of the Denaples Center. They will be run by psychology Master’s students from Marywood University. These screenings are brief, free, and confidential.

An interview with one of CHEW’s Peer Health Educators, Emily Harvan, gave some insight into the purpose of the screenings.

“CHEW is advertising for the depression screenings because understanding mental health on our campus is a key aspect in maintaining and promoting wellness of the mind, body and spirit.”

Harvan said, “CHEW’s advertising for the screening also helps to educate those on campus about depression which can aid destigmatizing the topic. The data received from the screening can also be used in efforts to destigmatize depression and other mental illnesses by showing students that they are not alone.”

Brief depression screenings, both on campus and online, are a good starting point for addressing mental health and starting a conversation with health care providers.

They are not a diagnosis but can be a great tool for outlining a mental health plan. A screening is simply a resource available to students to help them outline their mental health status. The outcome of the screening could be a recommendation to another resource like the counseling center in O’Hara Hall or the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) to help with schoolwork anxiety.

No follow up is required. The screenings are completely confidential, so the Master’s students are not allowed to report any data using student names. The data will only be used by CHEW to better understand depression on campus and help dismiss false stereotypes about mental illness in the future.

The National College Health Assessment from the American College Health Association was performed on our campus last year. The results revealed the importance of depression on our campus and shattered any preconception that it doesn’t exist within our students.

The posters and quarter sheets created by CHEW around campus have statistics from this survey but do not include all of them. For example, at the time of the survey 51.6% of students had felt hopeless, 87% had felt exhausted not from physical activity, 63.4% had felt overwhelming anxiety, and 63.5% had felt lonely in the last 12 months.

These numbers are all larger than the national averages which showing that many of the students on our campus are suffering from symptoms of depression.

 

 

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