October is Depression Awareness Month, and the Counseling and Health Services on campus kicked it off with free depression screenings in the quad.
On Thursday, Oct. 5, students were encouraged to fill out questionnaires and talk one-on-one with campus counselors to determine if counseling or support groups were needed for help. The booth was open outside of Ludwig from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm, and free ice cream was handed out.
According to Lisa Vander Veer, the director of Wellness and Career services at Olivet, “This is a national event that is going on at a majority of college campuses throughout the country.” Olivet is not alone in their raised awareness towards depression this month.
“This is all about awareness and education about depression,” Natalie Ike, an advanced practicum therapist that works closely with Vander Veer, said. The main goal in the entire screening process is to help students work through their feelings and see if they need more help handling mid-semester sadness. “This is just a way for us to figure out what level of sadness they are at so they can get help.”
The staff of the counseling and health services make their main priority the overall betterment of the students they work with. This goes beyond just addressing their sadness.
“More than anything, this is a way for people to learn about themselves so they can better who they are as a person,” Ike said.
Once the screenings were completed, students were advised whether they should pursue help in counseling or not. Both Ike and Vander Veer made it very clear that appointments fill up fast, and those interested should sign up as soon as possible.
Beyond individual counseling services, the health department also offers group therapy sessions where students can empathize with other students on their shared troubles.
All information for group meetings, scheduling appointments, and other special events can be found on the Counseling and Health Services page found on my.olivet.edu