LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 7, 2019) — Mental Health Awareness Week is underway, and National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) is Oct. 10. In support of NDSD, the University of Kentucky Counseling Center will hold free mental health screenings from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, in various locations across campus.
Founded in 1990, NDSD began as an effort to reach individuals across the nation with important mental health education and support services. Now 25 years later, NDSD has expanded to thousands of colleges and community-based organizations providing the program to the public each year.
"Mental health screenings raise awareness of mental health and signs and symptoms related to mental health concerns," said Megan Marks, licensed psychologist and assistant director and outreach director of the Counseling Center. "We know that mental health concerns are common, as one in five adults have a mental health disorder in any given year. Screenings can help with early identification of mental health concerns, which can lead to treatment recommendations and ultimately better outcomes."
Mental health has become one of the most pressing issues on college campuses around the world. Often occurring during early adulthood, mental health disorders can affect education, forming and maintaining relationships and the establishment of health habits. The Counseling Center understands the impact mental health has on campus and sees screenings as a perfect opportunity for students and the Lexington community to get acquainted with the Counseling Center and the many resources it offers.
As part of the brief in-person screening, participants will answer questions related to mood, anxiety, sleep and previous traumatic experiences. Participants will have the opportunity to speak with a clinician from the Counseling Center to review their results and if necessary, appropriate referrals can be made.
"Early identification and treatment can possibly prevent years of suffering," Marks said. "As health screenings are a common practice in our society, mental health screenings must be so too."
Campus offices will host three free screening locations across campus:
- William T. Young Library from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- Gatton Student Center Walkway from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
- MN118 College of Medicine from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Mental Health Screening Day is held in collaboration with partners across Lexington to support all UK students, faculty, staff and the Lexington community. If you are unable to attend the in-person screening events, individuals are encouraged to complete an online screening, which includes additional topics such as substance use and eating concerns. This online screening is available 24/7 and provides recommendations based on individual responses.
Those interested in seeking confidential mental health counseling can contact the Counseling Center at 859-257-8701. Campus members may also consider dropping in to the UK Counseling Center's "Let's Talk" program for an informal, confidential conversation. These are available Monday through Thursday at various times and locations.
To learn about all of the resources offered through the UK Counseling Center, visit the center's website here.
The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for," and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers." We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.