UCLA Takes Steps to Address Mental Health on Campus
The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) is adding a unique measure to its orientations for all incoming transfer and freshman students: mental health screenings.
UCLA Chancellor Gene Block stated, “To our knowledge, no other university has ever attempted screening of this nature and scale. Students who choose to participate will be screened for depression and related traits—anxiety, mania, and suicidal tendencies. And we will offer help to those who need it” (Burch, 2017; Rinker, 2017). The depression screening is part of the “Depression Grand Challenge” at UCLA, which aims to cut depression rates in half by 2050 (Burch, 2017).
The screening is voluntary and though it is only available to new students now, “. . . the university intends to make it available to everyone soon” (Burch, 2017). The survey is available online and takes only a few minutes to complete. Students who need further assistance will be provided with “a free, eight-week cognitive behavioral treatment online, a self-guided program that helps . . . identify their problem areas and teaches them to think, and therefore, react differently” (Rinker, 2017). The online treatment was developed by professor of psychiatry Gavin Andrews, from the University of South Wales in Australia.
“I think there is going to be much higher numbers [of students] who need treatment than they expect,” said Larry Moneta, vice president of student affairs at Duke University, which is offering meditation and mindfulness classes for students in order to address depression.
Burch, K. (2017). All incoming UCLA students to receive a vital mental health assist. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/all-incoming-ucla-students-receive-vital-mental-health-assist
Rinker, B. (2017). UCLA offers depression screenings for incoming students. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/health/depression-screening-college-ucla-partner/index.html