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October is Mental Health Awareness Month

Counseling and Psychological Services Offered a Mental Health Screening Day


October Mental Health AwarenessThe Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) located on the third floor of the Student Center, conducted a free mental health screening on Thursday, October 20. It was meant to offer immediate feedback from a counselor and distribute self-help literature. The offices for the CPS are

The CPS offers two screenings per year. One in the fall focuses on depression and mood analysis, and one in the spring focuses on anxiety. Approximately 30 students attended last Thursday’s mental health screening.

October is Mental Health Awareness Month. The mental health screening used was called the “National Depression Screening.”

It is used for screening mental health, and focuses on questions that are correlated with mood disorders. The categories of mood disorders are: depression, general mood disorder, anxiety, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These categories help define symptoms, and might help explain a mental health issue.

The forms determine if it is important to see the counselors on an emergency basis, or to offer them an appointment within 48 hours. The CPS has six licensed counselors that offer free and confidential service.

Doctor Franca Mancini, Director of CPS said, “We want to assist students in their academic and personal development and help them reach their full potential. Ultimately we want students to feel, and to be, independent.”

Mancini said in terms of benefits from counseling, “There is a direct correlation between mental health and good academic performance. Students are more productive and have positive outlooks, and can eventually take that attitude to their future workplace to help handle situations, leading them to become better friends, employees, or partners throughout their lifetime.”

She said “it’s necessary to consult a professional because sometimes the individual isn’t able to find a solution on their own. Ultimately, if you manage your mental health well, you will have a better overall wellness.”

Mary Fox, Office Coordinator of CPS, schedules the appointments for students. She said, “Appointments are usually done hourly, but sometimes students come in for a check-in for 10 to 15 minutes. Counselors can take up to five appointments a day, not including walk-ins.”

The CPS gets approximately 800 referrals a year, roughly 400 per semester, making up about 10 percent of the community’s population, according to Mancini.

The self-help literature available at the CPS includes a suicide prevention lifeline card, including information on suicide warning signs, and also the University’s Emergency Services card that lists emergency hotlines.

The CPS office tries to provide the most stress-free environment, Mancini said. Students can find pamphlets on anxiety disorders, depression, PTSD and other mental disorders.

The CPS’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:45 am until 5:00 pm. The office can be reached for an appointment or questions at 7325717517.

PHOTO COURTESY of Brian Haliskoe