BC Health Center to screen for depression

Omar Oseguera, Photo and Multimedia Editor

On Nov. 15, the Bakersfield College Student Health and Wellness Center will be holding screening tests on campus for depression. These tests will help determine if a student needs further help, but students will not be diagnosed on the spot. The event will be taking place along with The Great American Smoke Out, which encourages smokers to make a plan to quit smoking.

BC Behavioral Health intern Nicholle Gomez gave specifics on the importance of attending the screening.

“It is important that students not only keep their bodies in good health, but also keep their mental health in check,” said Gomez.

“Once recognized, depression is a treatable illness. This screening will help students identify signs of depression and guide them through treatment options.”

The screenings are free and confidential. Students attending will complete a brief screening questionnaire, and speak one-on-one with a mental health professional.

All of this can be done without an appointment.

“Students will be given educational resources to take home, a list of local resources where treatment and other services are available,” said Gomez.

Further mental health counseling with a licensed therapist will also be offered at the Student Health and Wellness Center as appropriate.

Gomez identified factors that could lead to depression for college students.

“Some stresses for college students may include living away from family, experiencing conflict in relationships, worrying about finances, and feeling alone or isolated,” she said.

Symptoms of depression may include restlessness or irritability, difficulty concentrating or making decisions, and thoughts of death or suicide as well as many others.

Students who are unable to attend the event can take an online self-evaluator screening at www.ulifeline.org/bakersfieldcollege.