Seeking Help: SMSU’s Annual Depression Screening

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Seeking Help: SMSU’s Annual Depression Screening

Katie Stromme

Counseling and Testing Services are located on the first floor of BA.

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“One out of two people struggles with a diagnosable mental illness at one point in their life,” Sara Fier, Associate Professor of Counseling and Testing Services said, “it affects everyone somehow.”

Oct. 11th is National Depression Screening Day. Counseling and Testing Services is holding their annual depression screening to help raise awareness about the condition.

“College is really a very stressful time, all the changes and loss of the family safety net can be really hard for a lot of people,” explains Fier, “these years are critical, it’s when a lot of problems can come to light, and we want to help.”

SMSU has been holding depression screenings for over 15 years in order to help students.

“This year we’re going to have online screening too for students who either can’t make it in, or are hesitant to come in person,” said Fier.

Depression is a recognized mental illness that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1 in 10 adults are affected by. They also found that people ages 18 to 24 were the most likely to report depression.

Young adults aren’t the only people in the high-risk group. People ages 45 to 64 also have high levels of major depression reported. A lot of people in both groups are unlikely to seek help because of stigma attached to mental illness or being unaware that their sadness is treatable.

The National Institute of Mental Health lists symptoms like persistent anger, sadness or “empty” feelings, major changes in diet and sleep patterns—such as eating disorders and insomnia or excessive sleeping—loss of interest in things once found pleasurable and thoughts of suicide or self-harm. Those are only a few of the many symptoms that can be warning signs that something is the matter.

“I really enjoy the screenings,” Fier said, “it gives us a unique chance to talk to students and reach out to them in a way we can’t really do the rest of the year. Then we can get them one-on-one help, and hopefully improve their lives.”

SMSU’s Counseling and Testing Services is holding depression screenings Oct. 11th in their offices. More info can be found online at smsu.edu/campuslife/counselingtestingservices

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