local residents the opportunity to learn about the signs and symptoms of
depression and participate in a free screening as part of National Depression
The Student Counseling Services Center will hold free screenings Thursday
from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the University Center, room 221.
"Come in anytime during hours of the clinic," invited Ann O'Conner-Slimp
of the Counseling Center. "We will have mental health professionals
available throughout the day."
Participants will watch a video about the signs and symptoms of depression,
complete a short screening test and have the opportunity to discuss the
test results with a professional. The process should take about 30 minutes,
National Depression Screening Day, held each year during Mental Illness
Awareness Week, was developed by Harvard psychiatrist Douglas Jacobs, who
now serves as the day's event director. Last year, more than 85,000 people
attended screenings at 2,800 sites nationwide.
Of the 17 million Americans who experience depression each year, the
National Institute of Mental Health estimates fewer than half seek treatment
even though 80 percent could be helped. Common symptoms of depression include
feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, restlessness and irritability,
changes in sleep and appetite, loss of energy and thought of death or suicide.
"We hope that this nationwide effort to provide mental health screening
for depression will educate the public about the signs and symptoms of depression
and encourage those who may be vulnerable to seek evaluation and treatment,"
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