On October 6, Dalhousie University offered our first ever depression screening event “Beyond the Blues.” Lynne Robinson (School of Health and Human Performance) was co-chair of the organizing committee and brought together multiple partners from within Dalhousie and the community to deliver the highly successful event. Dalhousie partners included Employee and Organizational Development, the Centre for Learning and Teaching, Live Well at Dalhousie, Counselling Services and the Psychology Department. Outside partners included the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia and the Canadian Mental Health Association. The School of Health and Human Performance contributed many student volunteers who valued the experience as part of their education at Dalhousie.
The event was highly successful, with coverage that night by CTV and Global television and DalNews. The activities at the event included a keynote talk by Dalhousie depression researcher Simon Sherry (with estimated attendance around 180) and an opportunity for an informal depression screening. This was followed by a chance to “drop in” to pick up tips on maintaining good mental health and receive a brief free consultation with a psychologist (provided by the Association of Psychologists of Nova Scotia). Participants included students, staff and faculty. The objectives of the event were to destigmatize mental illness and, in particular, depression; raise awareness of depression as an important issue that affects may of us; encourage good mental health practices and promote early detection and intervention.