The announcement that Bell is donating $500,000 to McGill for use in Mental Health was met with excitement. The use of the funds to develop online screening should be met with confusion. The value of online screening has to be suspect. Most screening tools are highly inaccurate. Part of the problem is that screening tools are usually based on one diagnosis in the psychiatry bible, the DSM. The diagnoses described in the DSM are used by expert clinicians as rough guidelines, as individuals in the real world rarely fit well into one diagnosis. For example, screening tools for depression are almost always based on the criteria for the diagnosis of Major Depression, which has evolved to be a very loose diagnosis that a clinician can squeeze people into, but that rarely fits well into the whole picture involved in depressed mood in students. A serious problem with screening tools is that, as they tend to promote a simplistic and inaccurate diagnosis model, they also promote simplistic treatment models. The mental health and pharmaceutical industries have heavily promoted the use of psychiatric medications for treatment of DSM diagnoses. The screening tools that McGill Mental Health is proposing to use were developed for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals by Dr. Robert Spitzer, the father of the DSM III and a leading promoter of biological psychiatry. These tools are available for free, though the validity of these tools is questionable. Research indicates that psychiatric medications are often of limited use, have complex side effects, and yield, at best, mediocre results. Psychiatric medications, certainly on their own, are usually not the treatment of choice for university students struggling with emotional problems. Yet the most likely result of people doing an online screening is to end up at a walk-in clinic, being handed a prescription with no proper assessment. Years ago, the McGill Mental Health Service stood up against Depression Screening Day for these reasons. Now, depression screening has been dropped in Montreal as it was found to be a waste of time and resources. Undoubtedly, there are students who are might lack knowledge about their emotional life problems. There are however, numerous screening tools online already for those who want them, as well as a surplus of information, some good, some bad, on the web. Lack of access to information is not the major problem facing McGill students. Lack of proper treatment resources is a very serious problem. The McGill Mental Health and Counselling services already appear to be overwhelmed by the number of students asking for help. How does it make any sense to spend money trying to make students more aware of their problems when one can’t even provide proper help for those who are already trying to get help? It is very common in student mental health at universities across North America, for institutions to put in superficial programs that give the appearance that the university is paying attention to student mental health. These programs, whether it is a Mental Wellness Portal, a Suicide Watch, or a Mental Health Week, are fundamentally public relations tools, rather than appropriate programs to help students. These programs are used so universities can appear to be doing something, while excusing the lack of real attempt to address real issues. Often they are done in good faith, but by people who have no clue of how to properly attend to the important problems. A fundamental approach in student mental health should be the focus on the true needs of the students, rather than aggrandizing or excusing ourselves. For an institution that prides itself ob academic excellence, McGill is taking a profoundly non-academic approach to this issue. In order to justify this spending McGill would have to show that lack of awareness is a major problem at McGill, that this portal will have a positive influence on awareness, and that it would lead to more students receiving proper treatment. Without this evidence, this program is just an expensive PR stunt. Undoubtedly a large part of these funds will be scooped by McGill Student Services for unclear purposes A half a million dollars could be put to good use in helping students, rather than being thrown away primarily to appease the conscience of the university.