October 08, 2007

National Depression Screening Day Free screenings available to students, faculty, staff

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Students, faculty and staff at Southern Illinois University Carbondale can participate in free depression screenings at three different campus locations on Thursday, Oct. 11, in conjunction with National Depression Screening Day.

Depression is much more common than people typically realize, according to Rosemary E. Simmons, director of the SIUC Counseling Center. In fact, the most recent National College Health Assessment survey reveals that 40 percent of college students report feeling so depressed one or more days during the school year that it's difficult for them to even function. Nearly one in 10 said they seriously considered attempting suicide during the school year.

The survey further identifies depression and anxiety among the top 10 health problems college students say interfere with their academic performance. Likewise, depression is one of the most common illnesses among adults in the United States.

The screening is a paper and pencil survey and takes about five minutes to complete. Afterward, a mental health professional will meet privately with the student, faculty or staff member to provide feedback about the screening survey results. The center offers ongoing counseling services for students as needed and referrals for faculty and staff through the Employee Assistance Program.

The SIUC Counseling Center and the Wellness Center, both located in the Student Health Center, are the event sponsors.

The schedule for the free screenings is:

• Student Health Assessment Center on the first floor of the Student Center, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• First floor lobby of the Student Health Center, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Lentz Dining Hall at Thompson Point, 4-6 p.m.

Additional information about depression and its symptoms and National Depression Screening Day is online at http://depression.about.com/b/a/028843.htm.