UGA to screen all incoming freshman for mental health issues

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Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019

ATHENS, Ga. — For the first time ever, 7,000 freshmen are getting mandatory mental health screenings at the University of Georgia.

The screenings will happen right when students check in, and as 11Alive's Kaitlyn Ross explains, it's meant to shift the culture on campus. The school said it wants students coming in prepared, and UGA believes this screening will help them make the transition.

UGA Student Scott Eisenburg knows how hard it can be walking into freshman year.

"There's so many different parts of your life that need to be balanced," he said. "Coming in as a student, you don't really know how to handle all of the stress and the workload."

Eisenburg helped start the new mental health initiative on campus because he said he knows how important it is to maintain all aspects of a student’s health.

"Eating well, being physically active, being on top of your classes, it's how to be completely balanced as a person," he said.

Organizers set up 14 different booths to talk to incoming students about the things they were worried about.

"It could be about sexual assault, binge drinking, homework, making friends, workload," he listed. "They're all interacting with peers."

The hope is that the mental health screening will set the tone for the new student's entire career at UGA.

"This event does both things: it teaches you how to prepare for all of the stress that's about to happen and how to handle it," Eisenburg said.

This is the first year the school has ever done this, so they really hope it will help make an impact on campus.