National Depression Screening Event to Take Place at Student Union

Tina Chasek
personal counselor UNK Counseling Care, 308.865.8248

Thursday is National Depression Screening Day and the University of Nebraska at Kearney Counseling Care office is sponsoring a Depression Screening Day.

The event will take place in the Nebraskan Student Union Atrium from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The screening is open to all UNK students, faculty and staff, and the general public.

According to Tina Chasek, a personal counselor for UNK Counseling Care, depression and other common emotional conditions often go undiagnosed and misunderstood.

“Part of the disorder is that once you start to feel depressed, you start to isolate and that really prevents a lot of individuals from getting the help that they need,” Chasek said.

Since there is such a general negative idea attached to depression and other emotional disorders, the theme of the event is “Unmasking the Stigma.”

Fliers promoting the event list the names of famous people who have suffered with depression or bipolar disorder. These names include actors like Drew Carry and Harrison Ford, and musician Sheryl Crow. Even Winston Churchill, who has been called one of the greatest statesmen who ever lived, battled against depression during the height of his political career.

This event is part of the nationwide Mental Illness Awareness Week, running from Oct. 2-8. Although the title of the UNK event focuses on the subject of depression, Chasek said that the screening will be for other areas of focus as well.

“The questions on the screening test range from asking about energy and appetite in the area of depression, to questions more targeted toward someone who might possibly be suffering from an anxiety disorder or may have experienced some kind of trauma,” Chasek said.

Questions to detect anxiety disorders include whether an individual feels nervous most days and often has tense or tight muscles. Trauma questions include the presence of nightmares and reliving the traumatic event.

Chasek said that mainly, she and other counselors want to see if they can help.

“Our goal in this event is to reduce the stigma that surrounds any type of mood disorder, and to raise awareness that this type of thing can affect anyone,” Chasek said.

Durin g the event, there will be informational videos playing that tell about mental health issues, as well as a graffiti wall where individuals can write their thoughts about mood disorders.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is also sponsoring and supporting this event.