CAPS to offer depression and mental health screening

Cal Poly Pomona is participating in Mental Health Awareness Week this year, where Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) will be hosting several programs Oct. 7-10, focusing on helping students understand and improve their mental health. 

On Oct. 7, CAPS hosted its first event of the week, “Complexities: The Things We Carry,” centered around balancing everyday responsibilities and “navigat(ing) pressures from within and outside of school.”

College students especially are no strangers to dealing with the struggles of balancing mental health when it comes to responsibilities, workload and self-care. According to mentalhealth.gov, mental health involves one’s “emotional, psychological and social well-being.”

Another program being offered on Oct. 8 is “Bounce Back,” a workshop created in order for students to understand how stress impacts their mental well-being and provides strategies for identifying and dealing with different stressors.

“The hope for this weeklong event is to increase mental health awareness and decrease mental health stigma on campus, as well as provide strategies for students through the different interactive programs to improve their mental health,” said Jennifer H. Kohagura, clinical psychologist and outreach coordinator of CAPS. 

“Many of these programs will have tangible skills that students can hopefully implement into their self-care routine.”

CAPS is hosting Mental Health Awareness Week programs Oct. 7 through Oct. 10.
(Courtesy of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS))

Fourth-year psychology student Destiny Garcia is looking forward to attending some of the programs being offered. 

“I feel it’s a great opportunity for people to de-stress and learn more about themselves and mental health,” Garcia said. “A lot of the times students are on the go, and they rarely take time to sit down and consider how they are really feeling under all the stress and pressure they could be under. These events give an opportunity for students to unwind and learn different ways to help improve and restore their mental health … before it gets too overwhelming.”

CAPS is also hosting “National Depression Screening Day and Mental Health Fair,” on Oct. 9 where students will be offered free screenings for depression and hosting a fair with fun activities to increase mental welfare. 

This program in particular comes highly recommended for all students, especially for those who have never visited CAPS on campus to learn about the services. 

“The depression screening would provide students an opportunity to meet a CAPS counselor,” Kohagura said. Based on the screenings, “the counselors will make recommendations and provide each student with information about resources.”

Not only can students learn ways to improve and maintain their own mental health with these programs, but they can learn how to support those around them who may be struggling. 

According to Kohagura, “Most programs are general in nature and do not target a specific mental health concern. The coping skills that will be taught and practiced in each of the programs can be utilized by anyone in their daily lives.”  

A full list of this week’s Mental Health Awareness Week programs can be found at https://www.cpp.edu/~caps/outreach/events.shtml.

The CAPS office is located in Building 66, room 116. Students can make regular appointments with CAPS by calling (909) 869-3220. 

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