Mental illness can be a taboo subject, which is why an organization in Kodiak is trying to bring it out into the open as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.
Mary Guilas-Hawver is director of the Providence Kodiak Island Counseling Center and says, as part of building that awareness, Providence will offer depression screenings. She says depression comes in many form, like mild or seasonal depression.
“Or it could be a clinical depression that’s more serious that needs to be addressed and, of course, it’s up to the people to come forward. See, most of the time people are so used to that bad feeling that it becomes normal to them, and that’s what we want to screen for.”
Guilas-Hawver says screening is a quick process.
“It is probably a one or two pages questionnaire that people are asked to fill out, and then our professional counselors will have time one on one with those folks and just screen it and look at it and see if there’s anything that we can provide.”
Possible follow-up treatments could be counseling or speaking to a psychiatrist about receiving medication along with therapy. Guilas-Hawver says screenings will be tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Providence Kodiak Island Counseling Center.