Weatherford College Follow Our Lead organization is hosting depression screenings Thursday on campus in honor of National Depression Screening Day.

Students, faculty and staff are invited to get screened for free from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside the Academic Support Center on campus.

FOL is partnering with Student Development and Wellness and Safe Harbor Counseling for the screenings. This is the first year that FOL has participated in National Depression Screening Day, FOL Program Director Katherine Neale said.

“I feel like there’s such a stigma on mental health,” Neale said. “I just want students, staff and faculty to know about resources in the area, and what they can do to utilize those resources and tools to contribute to their mental health.”

WC freshman and FOL participant Carey Price said she plans to volunteer during the screenings. A few weeks ago, FOL hosted a training to help students recognize suicidal thoughts and depression, and that event had a good turnout, she said.

“The amount of students that came to that, I was surprised by that,” Price said.

The screenings are an important follow-up to the training, Price said.

Having depression screenings is especially relatable to college students, who are often in transition, Price said. The screenings also offer a chance to explain the physical symptoms of depression, like aches and fatigue.

“When people come to college, they’re obviously in a big transitional spot, and if they’re overwhelmed or scared of where they are, I think a lot of people either turn that inward or reach for substances to self-medicate,” Price said. “Being able to have some awareness that there may be something that’s going on that’s preventable and even treatable, I think it really brings awareness to it.”

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