Test Your Mood event offers PSU students access to a mental health check up
Author: Katy Swordfisk, PSU Media & PR
Posted: May 6, 2019

If you follow doctor’s orders, you might get a physical each year. But the same regularity doesn’t apply to checking in about mental health.

Quinn Westlynd, a Portland State University sophomore and member of the Wellness and Health Action Team, said that’s how he characterizes the biannual Test Your Mood events hosted by Portland State’s Center for Student Health and Counseling (SHAC).

“This offers an avenue for students to be able to get that check up and talk about their mental health,” Westlynd said, adding the environment is laid back and “low stress.”

 The next Test Your Mood event is between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. May 7 in two locations: Campus Rec and Montgomery Court lounge.

Marcy Hunt, director of counseling services at SHAC, said hosting the event in two locations provides greater access to the campus community.

During the event, students can stop by either location and spend between five and 10 minutes completing a confidential screening that looks at the common symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood swings and potentially traumatic events. SHAC staff then share the results with each student.

“If they’re not experiencing any symptoms, it provides an opportunity to reinforce the strategies they are using to manage their mental health,” Hunt said. “If they’re experiencing some symptoms of anxiety or depression, we have an opportunity to talk about our resources — and in some cases we help students access SHAC right away by walking them to the center.”

Students, she noted, are becoming more willing to share their experiences with mental health and appreciate the opportunity to talk with someone. Westlynd said he’s noticed the same adjustment in campus attitude and the stigma surrounding mental health.

The Test Your Mood event also gives the PSU community a chance to meet SHAC staff outside of SHAC.

"There is still stigma in seeking mental health support,” Hunt said. “Test Your Mood provides SHAC staff an opportunity to dispel some of the myths in seeking help and for students to see and experience that we are here to support their success at Portland State."