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UW-Eau Claire Counseling Services Urges
Campus Community to Use Free Depression Screening

RELEASED: Oct. 4, 2007

EAU CLAIRE — Depression is an "equal opportunity" illness that impacts both men and women, including University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students, faculty and staff. UW-Eau Claire's Counseling Services and Employee Assistance Program recognize that untreated depression can have far-reaching implications for university faculty, staff, students and family members, said P.J. Kennedy, director of Counseling Services.

The 2006 American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment found that 42 percent of U.S. students felt so depressed at times over a 12-month period that they found it difficult to function, while 9 percent seriously contemplated suicide over the same period.

This year National Depression Screening Day is Thursday, Oct. 11. University students, faculty and staff can complete a free, anonymous self-assessment screening on the Counseling Services Web site. (Users may be asked for a keyword when logging in. If so, the keyword is "UWEC.") The assessment is available year round. It is vital that people who experience symptoms of depression obtain appropriate treatment, Kennedy said.

Kennedy noted that if the following symptoms persist for more than two weeks, depression is likely:

  • feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, pessimism, guilt or worthlessness
  • difficulty making decisions
  • inability to concentrate and remember
  • loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities
  • increasing problems with school or family
  • lack of energy and drive
  • trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or getting up
  • weight gain or loss
  • chronic aches and pains, headaches, stomach aches or back aches
  • restless or irritable behavior
  • social withdrawal
  • cutting classes or dropping activities
  • drinking heavily or taking drugs (sometimes an attempt at self-medication)
  • talking about death or suicide, or suicide attempts.

For further information, contact Kennedy or Pete Chellman, Employee Assistance Program coordinator, at 715-836-5521 or send e-mail to pkennedy@uwec.edu or chellmpa@uwec.edu.

-30-

NW

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