Mental health screening returns to campus
October 3, 2008 5:25 PM
Free mental health screening returns to SF State on Tues. Oct. 7, to help spread awareness of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues affecting students.
The screening will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of the Student Services building. Here students can screen themselves for depression by filling out a brief questionnaire. Afterwards, the students then have the option of meeting with a counselor to see if a follow up appointment is needed, said Mary Cavagnaro, clinical counselor for Counseling and Psychological Services.
Cavagnaro encourages students to participate.
"Getting screened is the first step in resolving a problem," she said. "The earlier you get help the better."
Cavagnaro said that the screening is being brought back after about a decade and is meant to coincide with National Depression Screening Day this Friday.
According to the National Depression Screening Day website, "approximately 56,000 people attended a screening event and about 17,400 people were screened," at various community colleges, universities, and military sites throughout the country.
Cavagnaro said she’s seen a definite increase since last year in the number of students coming to use the Counseling and Psychological Services. "Depression and anxiety are the biggest reason," she said.
According to a press release issued by Counseling and Psychological Services, of the 2312 students who responded to the 2008 SF State Core Alcohol and Drug Survey "46% of the women and 41% of the men said they had "experienced depression for a period of two weeks or longer where they experienced sadness, a sense of hopelessness, loss of energy, or change in sleep or eating."
The main objective of the event, Cavagnaro said is to "tell students if there's something bothering [them] there's a place on campus that is available," she said.
If a student needs further services not offered on campus there are "free city services or low fee clinics which are $25-$30 a session," she added.
All services offered by Counseling and Psychological Services, however, are covered by the $111 Student Health Service Fee that all students pay with their tuition.
Also at the screening, will be for Student Health Services, C.E.A.S.E., a substance abuse prevention program and the SAFE Place, a sexual violence resource for students.
At the table for SHS, the P.E.A.C.H.E.S. (Peer Educators Advocating Campus Health) will be providing information on how to stay healthy.
At the C.E.A.S.E. table, computers offering online alcohol and marijuana assessment, e-chug and e-toke, will be available for students.
The e-chug assesses alcohol consumption, asking students questions such as "how many cheeseburgers did you drink last month?" to give students an idea of just how many calories they’re consuming with their alcohol.
Bita Shooshani, a counselor and Prevention Education Specialist, said the alcohol assessment will provide a personal report based on things like family history.
The report will also help a student assess whether they’re drinking in excess.
"Binge drinking has always been a problem on campus," Shooshani said.
A new organization on campus called "Active Minds" will be at the screening. Composed of students dedicated to helping other students, this group plans to help raise mental health awareness on campus.
The SAFE Place will have a screening on healthy relationships.
"There are support services to help students get out of [an unhealthy or abusive relationship] and support services to survive it," Karla Castillo, prevention education specialist, said.
Castillo said there is a lot of cross referral between SHS and Counseling and Psychological Services.
For example, if a student comes to the health center to get tested for an STD after a rape, that student can then be referred to the SAFE place for crisis counseling.
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