URI to host National Depression Screening Day
KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 29, 1999 -- The University of Rhode Island
will be hosting a National Depression Screening Day October 7 from 10 a.m.
to 2 p.m. in the Memorial Union Gallery Room on URI's Kingston campus. Mental
health professionals will be on hand to offer free, anonymous depression
screenings to local residents, students, staff and faculty. The event is
free and local residents are urged to attend.
People with depression often feel alone, and do not realize that depression
affects more than 17 million Americans in any given year.
"Depression is more than just a bad day or the result of a little
anxiety. It is a treatable disorder that can leave you feeling so bad that
you forget how it feels to feel good," said Jim Campbell, Director
of the URI Counseling Center.
Other surprising facts about this misunderstood disorder include:
Twice as many women as men suffer from depression, but risks for bipolar
disorder (manic-depression) are similar in men and women;
Dysthymia is a mild form of depression that lasts two years or more;
The World Health Organization estimates that by the year 2020, unipolar
major depression will be the second-most burdensome illness in the world,
surpassing even respiratory infections and tuberculosis; and
Teen suicide rates have increased by more than 300 percent since the
Common symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness, loss of pleasure
in usual activities, feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness,
changes in sleep and appetite, loss of energy, restlessness, and thoughts
of death or suicide. Manic-depression also includes feelings of euphoria
and/or agitation. Unfortunately, fewer than half of those suffering from
the disorders actually receive treatment. Depression, however, is one of
the most treatable illnesses, and the vast majority of sufferers show improvement
in as little as eight weeks.
Participants in the screenings will have the opportunity to complete
a written screening test and talk one-on-one with a mental health professional.
Those who appear to need further evaluation will be given referrals to local
treatment centers. Call the URI Counseling Center at 874-2288 for more information.
For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116