Student Health and Counseling Services provides mental health support for students

Cory Kay, Assistant Features Editor


An event on campus encouraged students, faculty and staff with mental health issues to seek help, emphasizing that they would not be stigmatized for it.

National Depression Screening Day was hosted by Student Health and Counseling Services (SHCS) on Thursday, Oct. 8 in the USU Arcade.

The counseling service’s voluntary depression screening was part of a week of activities and events that aimed to support, educate and enlighten students.

This screening was the first of three that will take place on our campus this school year. The second will be an eating disorder screening and the third will be an alcoholism screening.

SHCS partnered with campus programs like School of Nursing and the Human Development Department, as well as community partners like the North County Health and Human Services Agency, who assisted the mental health counselors in bringing to life an important and informative event.

“We want to offer students the opportunity to be screened,” said Cheryl Berry, Mental Health Educator. “We want to help them be not only aware, but also be able to…start that conversation out of concern and empathy for another person.”

National Depression Screening Day also promoted student services here at CSUSM.

“We also want to connect students to the resources that are available for treatment, those that are offered here on campus, as well as community resources,” said Berry.

Access to the team of psychologists on campus, including a psychiatrist on our staff and a psychiatric nurse, is covered by student tuition.

Here’s how the voluntary, confidential screening worked: Participants filled out a ten-question survey which was evaluated by students from the School of Nursing who had volunteered to help. The volunteers would then pass the survey to a mental health counselor if they could not resolve the issues themselves. Upon receiving the survey, the mental health counselor would review it and then meet with the student who filled it out.

Regardless of how each student filled out the assessment, every participant was reminded that there are easily accessible resources for them here at CSUSM.

Berry also offered words of advice to students who think they may be, or are already, suffering from any kind of mental illness.

“You’re not alone in having this experience. There is no embarrassment attached to getting help. If you feel you need the help, get the help. Help is near. It’s as near as Student Health and Counseling Services,” she said.

SHCS continues to promote understanding and awareness of mental health issues that affect college students.

This event reminds students that there are mental health resources here at CSUSM which are designed to help them. No one should be afraid to reach out and ask for help.