UK Counseling Center to offer free mental health screenings


University of Kentucky Counseling Center personnel work a booth in the Gatton Student Center on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, in Lexington Kentucky. Photo by Sarah Ladd | Staff

Natalie Parks

The UK Counseling Center will be offering free mental health screenings on Thursday, October 10.

The screenings will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Gatton Student Center walkway, outside rooms on the first floor of the College of Medicine and in William T. Young library near the auditorium.

 The in-person screening takes around two minutes and includes questions about mood, depression and anxiety, said Dr. Megan Marks, a licensed psychologist and the assistant/outreach director for the counseling center.

“Once a student has completed the screening, the student will receive feedback about their screening responses,” Dr. Marks said. “The feedback will be provided by a UK Counseling Center representative. During that brief consultation, the student will learn the signs and symptoms of mental health concerns and whether they might have a high potential for developing a mental health concern. The UK Counseling Center representative will also discuss campus and local resources available to support the student.”

UK Counseling Center offers these free screenings once a semester. Dr. Marks said the fall screenings are usually held on National Depression Screening Day and that they usually conduct between 250 and 300 in-person screenings during the event.

Dr. Marks said the screenings fit into UKCC’s mission of education and consultation for student well-being. Most mental health issues emerge during the college years because new stressors can worsen underlying conditions, said Dr. Marks.

“Early intervention can significantly improve mental health outcomes and college completion,” Dr. Marks said. “The mental health screenings help raise awareness of mental health symptoms and concerns as well as resources available for treatment. With this awareness, students can work towards change through seeking help and improve their overall mental well-being.”

For students, the free screening acts as a check-up on their mental health, much like a check-up at a routine doctor’s visit, said Dr. Marks. Students will also be introduced to campus and local resource for mental health. Decreasing the stigma around mental illness is another reason UKCC offers these free screenings, said Dr. Marks.

Students who cannot attend an in-person screening can take a two-minute online version, found here.