Counseling Center offers free depression screenings

Campus was abundant in chocolate and depression screenings from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday.

The Counseling Center, the College of Veterinary Medicine and other organizations placed tables accompanied with trained staff across campus Thursday to provide free screenings — and chocolate — for National Depression Screening Day.

Although Thursday marked National Depression Screening Day, the MSU Counseling Center stressed its doors always are open for help — even to students with the most minor of issues.

MSU was nationally ranked as the second university with the most student participants in the screenings last year, according to doctoral intern Abraham Bilyeu.

“Really, we want to … get the word out to students about the Counseling Center,” Bilyeu said. “It’s an opportunity for us to come out of the Counseling Center and come into the campus community, talk with students and let them know what resources are available.”

Bilyeu handed out many brochures and flyers summarizing the Counseling Center’s services, but said he felt he reached students much more if they took the time to fill out the screening form.

Questions on the screening form included “how often” rankings from “not at all” to “nearly every day,” with observations such as, “trouble falling asleep, or sleeping too much,” and “trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television.”

Among the participants at a screening booth at the International Center, education sophomore Helen Fountain said the questions on the screening form reminded her of a few of her friends.

“It’s kind of nice that people are reaching out to see if anyone needs help,” Fountain said. “They’re very friendly.”

Fountain filled out the screening form alongside marketing sophomore Stephanie Jones, who has dealt with depression before.

“I’ve been around (depression) from my mom, and I know what it’s all about,” Jones said. “So I think it’s really cool that (they’re reaching out to) students in college.”

Doctoral intern Sophia Rath-Targowski said she remembers clearly how difficult the transition into college can be.

“I have a pretty significant passion for mental health concerns at the college level,” Rath-Targowski said. “So I’m happy to be out here to spread the news about services that I received when I was in college, and to let people know that there’s help out there if you need it.”

Rath-Targowski said she feels her most important message to students is that no problem is too big or too little to at least touch base with the Counseling Center.

“You don’t have to have some big, life-altering problem to come in,” she said. “(Many come in for) things like stress and just wanting to talk to somebody.”

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