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

RELEASED: Oct. 3, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Counseling Services and Employee Assistance Program is encouraging members of the campus community to use the free depression screening tool available on the counseling office's Web site.

National Depression Screening Day is Oct. 10.

Left untreated, depression — often described as an "equal opportunity" illness that impacts men and women — can have far reaching implications for faculty, staff, students and family members, said Dr. P. J. Kennedy, director of Counseling Services.

The 2006 American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment found that 42 percent of students felt so depressed at times during the past 12 months that it was difficult to function, while 9 percent seriously contemplated suicide during the same period, Kennedy said.

It is vital that people who experience symptoms of depression receive appropriate treatment, Kennedy said. Depression symptoms can include:

  • feelings of sadness, emptiness, hopelessness, pessimism, guilt or worthlessness
  • difficulty making decisions
  • unable 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

To take a confidential online self-assessment screening, visit the Counseling Web site. The depression screening is available year round.

For further information, call UW-Eau Claire Counseling Services at 715-836-5521, or contact Kennedy at pkennedy@uwec.edu or Pete Chellman, employee assistance program coordinator, at chellmpa@uwec.edu.

-30-

NW/JB

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