Depression is everywhere; in fact, it’s likely to affect half of all University of Colorado students.
“We know that 50 percent of college students report being so depressed that it impaired their functioning at some point in the college experience,” said Amy Robertson, a licensed clinical social worker with CU’s Counseling and Psychological Services.
CU officials are acknowledging these high numbers by hosting free depression and anxiety screenings today through Thursday as a part of National Depression Screening Day.
What: Depression and anxiety screenings
When: Today through Thursday
Where: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. today through Thursday in the UMC, outside Baby Doe’s; 5-6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Darley Commons at Williams Village; 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday in Kittredge Commons; and 12-1 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Outreach Retention Center for Equity office in UMC Room 227F
Cost: Free for CU students, staff and faculty
Held at the University Memorial Center, as well as the Williams Village and Kittredge complexes, the five-minute screenings will include questions related to mood disorders and will be evaluated by mental health professionals, Robertson said.
CU graduate student Marc Simpson admitted to suffering from depression in the past.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m chronically depressed,” Simpson said. “But I have been depressed before — but who hasn’t?”
CU freshman Abbey Nelson said she doesn’t think she has experienced depression, but said she can understand how easy it would be for college students to slip into a hole during college.
“College is hard,” Nelson said. “The tests, the stress, the fitting in, the social life, the homework — it’s a lot to deal with. But give me a few more semesters and I’m sure I’ll be there.”
Robertson said two of three students don’t identify that they are suffering depression.
However, she said there is a difference between the blues and depression. She said the free screening could help determine if a student needs further evaluation.
The blues may just include having a bad day, but depression sticks around and dampers the ability to concentrate — it can affect grades and cause relationships to turn negative, she said.
“People with depression often don’t recognize the symptoms and it impairs their ability to function in life,” Robertson said. “Depression puts you in a state of mind that may color your perception. You don’t see or realize how helpful it can be to get assistance.”
Robertson said once depression is identified, professionals have an 80 percent success rate in treating the disorder.
“It’s important to offer screenings,” Robertson said. “If people think they are suffering from mood disorders, it can really help someone achieve a higher experience of well-being.
“A little access and support goes a long way.”