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 1950’s. 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. x-x-x For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116