Thursday, October 10, 2013

Depression Screening Day, Today, by Mitchell Spoerl

Physical health is a frequent topic of college students; however, mental health, an equally important topic, often goes un-discussed. October 10th is National Depression Screening Day, and UWL will be offering free screenings at the Counseling & Testing Center between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM for any university students.

Due to the stress of balancing a budget, relationships, school work, and a job all at once, college is a likely place for mental illnesses to begin. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, 75 percent of lifetime cases of mental health conditions begin by age 24.

Because it cannot be physically seen, mental health issues are hard to diagnose by people not qualified, especially if the person suffering doesn’t come forward. Even if a student’s professor or co-worker notices a problem with the individual, it is considered bad etiquette to ask such personal questions.

Implying that a person does not look “okay” might just close them off from the world even further. The social stigma surrounding mental issues is reason enough for college students to avoid the topic. At the risk of being ridiculed or judged by their peers, many people will convince themselves that they don’t need any help.

The best way to get help is to talk to someone about it, whether it be a friend, family member, or a doctor it is important to address the illness as soon as possible. Depression is a very serious and potentially deadly mental disorder. If an individual knows someone who is suffering from depression they must approach the situation carefully. While talking about it is the best route, saying the wrong thing could make things worse. says that when talking to someone who is suffering from depression the person should “Acknowledge the depression and don’t trivialize it. Let the individual know that you recognize that their not just lazy or feeling sorry for themself. Give the person permission to feel depressed.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death on college campuses.