SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Even with the sun shining brightly and warmly outside, depression or anxiety can dim the light someone feels. However, a mental health screening could highlight such concerns and start a patient down a path to feeling better. Anxiety isn’t entirely new for Dakota Weisbecker of Sioux Falls, but recent events impacted feelings.

“Lately I think, especially after the pandemic and then this last year, there have just been some family health issues that have gone on for me within my family, and I think it just kind of was all of those things put together that led me to have different answers on the questionnaire that showed a lot more anxiety than what I was feeling in the past,” Weisbecker said.

That screening took place at an appointment with Dr. Abrea Roark, her primary care provider.

“I think the biggest value is that a lot of patients won’t bring it up without that prompt, sort of thing,” Roark said. “Even with open-ended questions, I don’t think a lot of my patients, even knowing me and having a relationship, would feel as comfortable.”

“Dr. Roark just kind of asked those open-ended questions of what’s going on, what’s been changing and kind of talked about it and what was going on in my life, and her and her team kind of said, ‘That makes sense that you would be feeling this way,'” Weisbecker said.

She’s seen a change for the better with her anxiety. Sometimes we all need help lifting a heavy weight.

“They might want to talk about it, but they need a little bit more prompting,” Roark said.

“Asking for help is often really difficult, so I think that that questionnaire is very beneficial for people like myself,” Weisbecker said.

Roark and Weisbecker both work for Sanford Health.