Free screenings for depression offered Oct. 6

Counseling and Psychological Services at University Health Center is offering screenings for a range of common emotional conditions in accordance with National Depression Screening Day on Oct. 6.

The free, confidential screenings for students, faculty and staff will be available: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Nebraska Union; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the East Union; and 6 to 8 p.m. at the Campus Rec Center. All students who complete the screening can enter a raffle for an iPod Touch.

Each participant will complete a self-test and talk with a counselor about their personal situation at the screening. Held annually since 1991 during Mental Health Awareness Week in October, National Depression Screening Day is the nation’s oldest voluntary, community-based screening program that provides referral information for treatment. The screening day raises awareness and educates students about the signs and symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders, as well as connecting at-risk students to the resources they need.

Depression is a serious medical condition that is disabling and can be characterized by three categories of symptoms, including mood, physical and cognitive changes that prevent a person from functioning normally.

Symptoms include:

— Mood: Feeling sad, anxious or empty, irritable, restlessness

— Physical: Changes in sleep, appetite and energy levels, as well as persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment

— Cognitive: Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions, as well as feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness and/or helplessness

"Many students don’t associate their lack of energy to a mood disorder," said Tricia Besett-Alesch, interim director of CAPS. "Screening for anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses is important because it allows health care providers to identify these illnesses early on, making treatment more effective."

UNL students unable to attend the free screenings can complete an online screening in the areas of depression, manic depression, anxiety, eating disorders and alcohol use at: Once the assessment is complete, an appointment with one of the UHC professionals will be scheduled for further evaluation and/or to develop a treatment plan.

For more information, call 402-472-7450.

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