Counseling and Career Development center

GVL / Jessica Hollenbeck

GVL / Jessica Hollenbeck

Kara Haight

The Grand Valley State University Counseling and Career Development center will participate in National Depression Screening Day Oct. 11 with various stations set up throughout the Allendale and Pew campuses.

Karen Burba, doctoral intern at the counseling center, said the event is designed to bring attention to the illness.

“(It’s meant to) increase awareness about depression symptoms and reach out to those that might not otherwise access resources,” Burba said.

During the screening, student will be given a survey with questions about depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder, and each station will have a counselor who will provide the student with feedback about the answers they provide.

“The counselor will then make recommendations depending on the results of the screening, such as connecting the student with resources on campus,” Burba said.

If a student’s screening is indicating symptoms of an illness, students will be encouraged to go to the counseling center for a more in-depth analysis of the situation.

“If the student follows up on the referral, they can work with their counselor on their symptoms,” Burba said. “Or the counselor can recommend a better option for treatment if necessary.”

According to the GVSU National Depression Screening Day event on the counseling center’s website, screenings will be free and kept private.

Individuals who are feeling any symptoms of depression are encouraged to participate in NDSD, but students who do not think they are experiencing depression are also urged to participate in a screening.

“Even if a student feels they are doing well, it can be useful to stop by and see what resources are available in case someone they know begins experiencing symptoms,” Burba said.

If a student thinks that a friend or roommate shows signs of depression or other mental illnesses, the counseling center is open to discuss concerns they might have.

“(A roommate) can come to the center to get specific advice on how to handle their roommate,” said Sara Byczek of the Counseling and Career Development center. “Sharing with their roommate that they care and are worried for them, and providing them information on what services they have available to them (is important).”

National Depression Screening Day does more than just identify individuals in the GVSU community that may be suffering from mental illness and getting them help. It’s a day to educate others and create insight into mental illnesses.

“Screening days help to raise awareness to the population as a whole of the prevalence of depression and anxiety,” Byczek said. “And hopefully (they will) help to de-stigmatize seeking help from mental health clinicians.”

Students who cannot make it to one of the screening stations on campus can take a self-assessment on the counseling website.

GVSU’s efforts contribute to an annual, nationwide event.

The screening stations will be located in the Kirkhof Center main lobby from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Kleiner Commons from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Devos Center Student Project Area from noon-2 p.m., Center for Health Sciences Lobby from noon-2 p.m., Campus Recreation Center from 4-6 p.m., and Counseling and Career Development Center from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

See for more information.

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