Mental health kiosk screenings now available in Polk

Published 5:02 pm Thursday, August 10, 2017

Polk County now hosts a MindKare mental health screening kiosk, a touchscreen device that allows residents to learn about behavioral health conditions, participate in confidential assessments and find local treatment resources.

Vaya Health, a public managed healthcare organization, and community partners unveiled the kiosk Wednesday morning at the Polk County Public Library, located at 1289 W. Mills St. in Columbus. The kiosk also includes telephone access to Vaya’s 24/7, toll-free Access to Care Line at 1-800-849-6127. As part of an ongoing initiative, Vaya is placing MindKare kiosks in public locations in 23 western N.C. counties throughout 2017.

Polk County Manager Marche Pittman with local partners

One in four Americans has a diagnosable mental health condition, yet the vast majority does not seek treatment. A leading deterrent for seeking help is fear and stigma. MindKare kiosks are designed for use in public spaces and aim to reduce stigma by making learning about and screening for treatable conditions like depression or anxiety as commonplace as a blood pressure screening. 

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“Polk County’s MindKare kiosk is an innovative part of our larger efforts to encourage people to seek help if they have concerns about their mental health or substance use,” said Vaya CEO Brian Ingraham. “This kiosk makes it easy for residents to connect with local treatment resources. It also reinforces the message that mental health is an important part of overall health, and that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.” 

Western North Carolina residents can also take confidential assessments online at

– article submitted by Rachel Leonard-Spencer