Anxiety, depression screenings on campus Thursday

By Gus Bode

Free, confidential testing at three campus locations

Factoid:Screening times will be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Student Center, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lentz Dining Hall, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Trueblood Dining Hall and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Student Recreation Center. The Counseling Center’s phone number is 453-5371.

Depression strikes more than 17 million Americans each year, according to figures from the National Institute of Mental Health.

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And for that reason the SIUC Wellness Center and Counseling Center will mark National Depression Screening Day by giving free, confidential screenings for depression and anxiety disorders Thursday on campus.

Screening booths will be set up at the Student Center on the first floor, Lentz Dining Hall, Trueblood Dining Hall, and the Student Recreation Center.

National Depression Screening Day began in 1991, when Harvard psychiatrist, Dr. Douglas Jacobs began providing individuals across the country an opportunity to be screened for symptoms of depression and manic depression.

Barb Elam, Coordinator for Wellness Programming, said that depression and anxiety are the most common mental health disorders that people have, but only half of the affected people seek treatment. Elam said she wants people to know that much of the suffering is unnecessary because most of these disorders can be treated.

“Sometimes just taking the first step is really the hardest thing to do,” Elam said. “Once you do that it’s not so hard talking to somebody.”

During the anonymous free screening, people will be tested for anxiety and depression and will be advised treatment based on their scores. No appointment is necessary to be tested.

This screening is not meant to treat disorders. Individuals who do not have disorder will be given informational pamphlets on related topics. If symptoms are identified, a list of options will be presented to the individual, and a follow up appointment can be made immediately.

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Elam said that college students are susceptible to depression and anxiety because of a lack of support systems, college expenses, job searching and heavy class workloads.

Students who have depression and anxiety disorders do not have to look far for treatment.

The University has a licensed psychiatrist on staff, Dr. Yosoda Modali, who is able to prescribe medication if needed, and the Counseling Center provides services for a minimum cost. Appointments can also be made at the Wellness Center for further consulting on mental health issues.

“I think it’s important for people to recognize the signs in themselves and each other,” Elam said. “You get tested for a lot of things, why not test your moods?”

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