Correction: In a previous version of this story, only Student Counseling and Psychological Services was named as the host for this event. SCPS co-hosts the event with Auburn University's Psychological Services Center. The Plainsman sincerely regrets the error.
Anxiety and depression are obstacles many students face in schools across the country, with the global pandemic only exacerbating stress for many, according to a Boston University study from July. Schoolwork on top of normal life stressors can cause many students to face mental stress, which can commonly lead to other mental health issues as well.
These reasons are why Auburn University's Student Counseling and Psychological Services and its Psychological Services Center co-host a yearly depression screening day to help students struggling with anxiety or depression find help. Despite the global pandemic and the University’s event regulations, students will still be able to attend the event virtually via Zoom.
“The goal of the event is to provide brief, free and confidential mental health screeners and resources to Auburn students and community members,” said Kelsey Thomas, graduate student in psychology. “Typically, the event is hosted in person and on Auburn’s campus, but this year we are putting on a virtual event.”
Participants of the event will log into the Zoom meeting and be placed into a waiting room before being assigned to a clinician by a moderator. Then, the participants will go through a brief depression screening and discuss their results with their clinician, being given further resources to help if needed, Thomas explained.
Because the event is virtual, students are responsible for being in a secure and private location during their screening with a clinician.
“We are requiring a private location to ensure the confidentiality of the information shared during the screening, as information shared might be sensitive,” said Dr. Nadia Bhuiyan, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Psychology. "We will have moderators who will be ensuring that students are in a private location, and those moderators will be able to advise students on where to go.”
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AUSCPS has been hosting its annual depression screening day for the past few years, but this year is the first time they will be holding it virtually.
“We want to be able to continue the event this year and are making efforts to simulate as much of the in-person event as possible in an online format,” Thomas said. “We also think that holding it online will help us reach even more students on campus than we have in previous years.”
The screening event will be Thursday, Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students enrolled in psychology classes can register for the event at auburn.sona-systems.com, and students not registered in psychology classes can email email@example.com to get the Zoom link for the event.
“We hope the screening process will help people learn about their mood and how mood can affect other areas of life,” Thomas said. “We also hope that we will be able to reach students in need of extra support and increase awareness of the mental health resources available on campus.”
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