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KU to Launch New Mental Health and Well-Being Resources

Jan. 29, 2018

KUTZTOWN, Pa. - Kutztown University will launch two new mental health and wellbeing programs, MindKare and Bear Kit, on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 11 a.m. in the McFarland Student Union.  The event will take place near the entrance of the Cub Café in the Student Union.     

In an effort to reduce the public stigma surrounding mental illness on college campuses, the Kutztown University Health and Wellness Center has installed a MindKare Kiosk inside the McFarland Student Union.  The kiosk comes as a part of a grant from Berks County Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities Program which was made possible by Dr. Edward Michalik, administrator, Berks County Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities Program, and executive director, Berks County Agency on Aging.

The freestanding electronic touch-screen kiosk allows students, faculty, staff and community members to assess the status of their mental condition, anonymously. The kiosk is designed for public spaces and serves as a thought provoker, conversation starter and sign of hope for those living with a mental health condition. The kiosk will provide online screening self-assessments in a safe, anonymous way for individuals to check in on their mental health. The kiosks include screenings for six mental health conditions: anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, eating disorders and alcohol use disorders. Individuals are provided with an assessment of their mental health, information on whether their results are consistent with a mental health disorder and access to quality treatment resources.

MindKare can be accessed at the kiosk or online at http://screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/Kutztown

For more information on MindKare contact Dolores Hess, director, KU Health and Wellness Services, at 610-683-4082 or hess@kutztown.edu

Bear Kit, part of the MyKU mobile app, is designed to provide information and resources to assist students in caring for their own mental, physical and emotional wellbeing or that of a friend.  The app features direct emergency contacts including: University Police, 911, national crisis hotlines as well as local resources thereby offering immediate options to those in crisis.   

Bear Kit provides information, coping strategies and on- and off-campus resources relating to sexual assault, mental health and self-harm.  It is also directly linked to the MindKare website.  Bear Kit provides students who may be hesitant to share details of life events but are willing to utilize an app to quickly identify resources available should they be necessary. Although no identifiable information is collected, reports will allow KU to better understand the needs of the campus community and target services to those needs.

BearKit can also be accessed at https://app.kutztown.edu/WZ_015_HEALTH_CENTER

For more information on Bear Kit contact Susan Mangold, KU student assistance coordinator, at 610-683-4075 or mangold@kutztown.edu.