‘Check Up From the Neck Up’ raises awareness, fights stigma

Friday, October 13, 2017 ‘Check Up From the Neck Up’ raises awareness, fights stigma

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More than 100 students received free screenings for depression, anxiety, stress and other mood conditions at the University Health Center’s annual Check Up From the Neck Up event on Oct. 5.

The event, held on National Depression Screening Day, was located at the Nebraska Union, Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center and Campus Recreation.

Students who attended the event filled out confidential, anonymous screenings, which were then scored by a team of professionals from UHC Counseling and Psychological Services and counseling psychology doctoral students. Staff members brought students to a private area to explain their results and connect them with on-campus resources that could help with their concerns.

The event taught students that regular mental wellness screenings are an important part of one’s regular health care routine, much like an annual physical or eye exam.

Check Up From the Neck Up was a unique opportunity for CAPS to interact with students who may not otherwise utilize CAPS services due to the stigma around depression or because they weren’t aware of mental health resources on campus.

Will Wysocki, the event organizer and CAPS staff psychologist, said the event was a success for two reasons.

“The event increased awareness of the presence of depression, anxiety and stress as a reality of many university students’ experiences,” he said. “It also successfully connected students with services on campus, whether that was with CAPS and/or other entities committed to serving our students’ needs.”

This is the 25th year the university has participated in National Depression Screening Day on campus.

UHC is already considering ways to enhance the event in 2018, such as broadening the screenings to identify problematic eating behaviors and expanding locations to East Campus if resources permit. UHC also plans to work on suicide prevention during future outreach as well as screening students in the medical clinic for additional stress-related concerns.

“National Depression Screening Day continues to be an important part of outreach, support and intervention for our students,” Wysocki said. “We look forward to continuing to support our students in the academic year ahead.”

The University Health Center is managed by Nebraska Medicine.

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