In order to support the mental health of students, Wittenberg has implemented an online mental health screening tool that students may anonymously complete.
The tool allows students to take a three-minute survey that screens them for some of the common problems faced by college students. Through a series of questions, the screening determines if a student is showing symptoms that correlate with the typical thoughts and behaviors of common disorders such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and substance abuse. At the completion of the survey, students will be linked to resources that provide for the issues of which they may be showing signs.
“The hope is that the tool will serve as a starting point for students to communicate with mental health professionals if needed,” Troy Weathers, ‘18, founder of National Alliance on Mental Illness at Wittenberg, said.
The screening tool is not only a survey, but also a valuable resource in itself. The tool opens with information on the importance of mental health, and outlines why students should take the screening and how it works. This tool was implemented on campus as part of a strategic plan to improve mental health services on campus, according to Dean Casey Gill.
“The University Planning Commission has identified our mental health services as an area of needed focus,” Gill said. “The National Alliance for Mental Health indicates that one in four adults experience mental illness in a given year. Given the increase in prevalence on college campuses, this, along with the overall health and wellness of the student body, is an area that impacts student success and will need a comprehensive strategy to address.”
Weathers mirrored her statement, reflecting the importance of such a tool on Witt’s campus.
“It’s no secret that Wittenberg has fewer mental health resources than other schools of comparable size and makeup. This is especially apparent in that we only have one full-time counselor with an office in a less than ideal location,” Weathers said. “I have hope that our current situation will improve as the university begins to implement its strategic plan to create a system of mental health resources our campus can be proud of.”
Students agree that this tool is a welcome resource.
“It is a good addition to campus, especially for students that need to seek help for their mental issues,” Alex Quillin, ‘19, said. “Talking to someone can be intimidating, so this is a good resource for students who don’t want to be open about their problems.”