October 05, 2009

Free depression/anxiety screenings set for Oct. 8

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems that college students experience, but Southern Illinois University Carbondale is doing something about it.

In conjunction with National Depression Screening Day on Thursday, Oct. 8, the Wellness Center at SIUC’s Student Health Center is offering confidential free depression and anxiety disorders screenings that day. While depression and anxiety disorders are the most common mental health issues among students, they also are the most treatable, according to Barbara Elam, Wellness Center interim assistant director.

So in addition to getting the anonymous screening, you can also find out about resources to get help.

“According to a national college health survey, 45 percent of students reported feeling so depressed they could no longer function. Many student problems go unrecognized and students should know that help is available. Adjusting to college can be difficult. It is normal to feel some stress but when negative feelings interfere with daily functioning it is time to get assistance,” Elam said.

Students, faculty and staff at SIUC are welcome to participate in the free screenings. Just show up at the Student Health Assessment office in the south end of the Student Center between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or at the Student Health Center-Wellness Center outreach office in Trueblood Hall between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

“We want to make students aware of resources on campus, including the Counseling Center, to help them,” Elam said.

She said they also want to encourage people to notice if friends, roommates or those around them seem particularly “down” and to talk to them and ask them if they’re having suicidal thoughts or perhaps need assistance. She said that in addition to the in-person screenings on Oct. 8, the Student Health Center offers anonymous online screening all year long on the Wellness Center Web site at www.shc.siu.edu (click on wellness).

For more information the depression/anxiety screenings or the Wellness Center and services it offers visit the Web site or call 618/536-4441.