The Center for Counseling & Consultation plans to unveil new mental health screening kiosks at its Third Annual Mental Health Awareness Day on Friday, May 20. Booths will be set up in the parking lot at 5815 Broadway Ave. in Great Bend, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“There will be free food and kids’ activities such as a bounce house,” said Douglas McNett, executive director. “Additionally a number of our community partners plan to have informational booths.”
The Center serves the mental health needs of Barton, Pawnee, Rice and Stafford counties, an area of nearly 3,100 square miles.
The kiosks were purchased with funds from the Improving Health in Rural Counties Grant. In September of 2014, the Centene Foundation for Quality Healthcare awarded one of three nationwide grants to The Center in cooperation with the Pawnee County Health Department to implement a full scale public mental health awareness and utilization campaign.
According to The Center’s May newsletter, the kiosks include a tablet device on which users answer survey questions about their mental state. Anonymous screenings help people seek necessary treatment because respondents are more likely to give honest responses and, thus, more likely to take the assessment’s findings more seriously.
The two-minute screening can test for six different signs of mental health problems: depression, generalized anxiety, bipolar, post-traumatic stress, eating and alcohol-use disorders. The program includes a Spanish translation.
When users are finished with the survey, the kiosk provides them with resources to seek additional help, including 24-hour hotlines, like a suicide prevention line, peer support lines, family support lines, in addition to a link to the community mental health center’s website.
If users do not want to take the survey at the kiosk, they are given a link, which they can use to take the survey at home.