Students gathered in the Campus Courtyard on Oct. 4 to learn about the importance of maintaining and monitoring mental health in order to prevent depression. 

The Whittier College Counseling Center created the event to promote National Depression Screening day, which is a day to spread awareness about the causes of depression and gives individuals the opportunity to be privately screened in order to determine if they have a form of depression.  

The Whittier College counselors jumped into action and posted up outside the Campus Inn to get students to screen for depression through surveys which asked questions that might determine if any students had a form of depression. 

The counselors were all extremely helpful and determined to help students figure out what is going on in their lives. At the end of the survey the Counselors held one-on-one sessions with each student to better determine their mental state.  

Each table had snacks and there was a raffle going on for students to win prizes such as free massages, facials, and giftcards to places such as Starbucks. In addition, the counselors really did their best to get students to come to the screening.

Dr. Kiana Beehnood, one of the doctors at the Counseling Center, explained the event and what it was trying to accomplish. Students had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with some of the doctors behind a screen and ask if they are considered to fall into the category of depression.   “What we are basically doing is handing out free depression screeners,” said Beehnood. “The goal is that anybody who might be thinking along the lines of ‘am I depressed?’ ‘do I need help?’ ‘should I go in?’ (they can take a second to fill out the screener because it’s kind of brief) can take a couple minutes to go over it with a counselor and that increases insight on what might be going on. This is a tool that we use to help them realize that additional resources might be helpful to them.” The counseling center is trying to create available resources for students who may be uncomfortable with discussing such issues. Overall, they are trying to create a safe space for students. 

Daniel Ruiz, a program assistant to the Counseling Center, gave out the Counseling Center’s phone number and email. “The phone number is (562)-907-4239, or you can email us at counselingcenter@whittier.edu.” Said Ruiz. For more information, the counseling center is open Monday-Friday from 8.a.m-5p.m.