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Depression Awareness Week Reminds Students of Available Help


During the past few years, the issue of students’ mental health has become a hot topic on college campuses nationwide. More and more students seem to be struggling with depression and anxiety disorders. In fact, according to the results of the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment spring survey, 45 percentof students report feeling so depressed they no longer could function.

Social stigma, confusion and a simple lack of knowledge of the resources available to them prevent many students from seeking out the help they need. Unfortunately, untreated depression and anxiety can have serious consequences and can end up negatively affecting careers, relationships and one’s quality of life.

College students who are experiencing mental and emotional problems should know that help is available. That’s why Counseling Services is offering students free, anonymous screenings for depression and anxiety disordersfrom 9 a.m.-2 p.m.Wednesday in CC, Room 204.

Students will be able to complete a short questionnaire that assesses the likelihood that they may have a mood or anxiety disorder. They can learn more about these common issues, take home educational materials for themselves or their friends, and talk with a mental-health professional about their specific concerns.

In addition to this one-day event, the Penn College Depression Awareness Week Committee is offering several educational events this week:

Depression Awareness Week 2008

Monday

  • Depression Awareness Week Kickoff 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; CC, ATHS and LEC (Susquehanna Room) lobbiesPenn College students, faculty and staff will hand out copies of the week’s event schedule.
  • Yoga 6-7 p.m.; CC, Room 105C Free trial! Reduce stress, improve strength and flexibility. Participants should come to class with an empty stomach, in comfortable clothes, and with a mat or blanket to put on the floor.

Tuesday

  • Real Stories of Depression in College (Video, panel discussion and “Meet the Panelists” reception) 7:30 p.m.; SASC Presentation RoomThe video presents a recognizable picture of depression and other problems associated with suicide, as commonly experienced by college students and other young adults.

Wednesday

  • Depression Screenings 9 a.m.-2 p.m.; CC, Room 204Penn College Counseling Services will offer free and confidential mental-health assessments. An online assessment also will be available through the Student Health Services portal site.
  • Stress-Less Health Fair 10 a.m.-2 p.m., CC Lobby Twin Hills Health Center will offer chair massage, postural check and foot-leveling services. The “art therapy” station will provide another form of stress reduction. Information on college and community resources will be available.
  • Yoga 6-7 p.m.; CC, Room 105C Free trial! Reduce stress, improve strength and flexibility. Participants should come to class with an empty stomach, in comfortable clothes, and with a mat or blanket to put on the floor.

Thursday

  • Helping Students in Distress: What Faculty and Staff Need to Know” 3:30-4:30 p.m.; Penn’s Inn Concerned about a student’s behavior? Have you had a student disclose something that worried you? Not sure what resources are available or what to do about it? Join staff from Counseling, Health Services, Penn College Police and others to discuss the gray areas that often emerge when working closely with students. Participants can register for the event using the Professional Development site or by calling ext. 4775. This event fulfills an hour toward the staff professional-development requirement.

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