Washburn clinic to host free depression screening Feb. 14

The Psychological Services Clinic of Washburn University will host a free depression screening day Feb. 14, the screening day will allow individuals with mental concerns to be assessed by graduate psychology students with the aid of certified psychologists on site.

Students of the masters program for psychology will speak one on one with the visitors to the clinic where visitors will be able to receive therapy sessions and referrals to additional services like the Student Health Services office and the ADHD clinic.

The purpose of the clinic is “to provide a quality training environment for the students in the masters programs and to give a quality service to the Washburn community and the Shawnee community,” said Bailea Meeks, graduate assistant and student clinical director.

The clinic expects to average around 30 to 35 people to sign up for the screening and from there they expect 20 people to come back for additional services. The clinic charges five dolloars a session and accepts both Washburn students and Shawnee residents as visitors.

The date of the screening is not a coincidence either.

“We have it on Valentine’s Day for a reason. Often times this is where people start to notice when their life is unhappy. They feel alone, even in a crowd of people,” said Meeks.

Relationships and schoolwork are both factors that contribute to mental health problems to college students. It compounds more when major life transition and an added work load is added into the the mix.

Meeks cites that one in four people in the United States are affected by a mental health concern like anxiety or depression.

The Psychological Services Clinic only practices evidence- based treatments because the graduate students are only trained to do those types of treatment. People opting in for the therapy session usually require around 12 sessions for anxiety and 10 to 12 sessions for depression.

Washburn students can also go to the Counseling Services office for further assistance. The office offers free hour-long sessions exclusively for Washburn students. The office is more short-term and offers typically around 10 sessions in a semester but has an average use of three to four sessions by students.

The Counseling Services still observes a hesitance by students to use on-campus help because of the stigma associated with mental health problems.

“They think of doctors in white coats and that’s not us at all. We’re very casual,” said Jaime Olsen LCP, university counselor.

There are small steps that people can change in their day-to-day routines to reduce their stress levels. Olsen points to exercise, adequate sleep and a healthy diet as good ways to manage mood.

The Psychological Services Clinic and the Counseling Services office will be interacting even more as the Morgan Hall renovation takes place. The counselors will relocate the clinic starting Feb. 24. 

For more information on how to reduce anxiety or depression or to make an appointment with the Psychological Services Clinic, pass by Henderson room 111.