MU conducts depression screenings for students

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 | 7:14 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — With the number of college students diagnosed with depression on the rise, MU has expanded its depression screening day to give more students a chance to get help.

The MU Counseling Center and Suicide Prevention Task Force will offer online screenings Thursday to assess depression and anxiety at 11 sites on campus. For students who want to discuss their results, licensed staff from the Counseling Center will be at each of the sites.

Locations of Depression Screenings


Locations and Times of Screenings on Thursday:

10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

MU Student Center

Women's Center, Room G108

Multicultural Center, Room G107 

LGBTQ Resource Center, G225

Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center, G210

Wellness Resource Center, G202

11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Memorial Student Union, North Tower  

Veterans Center, Room N5

Memorial State Union, South Tower

Office of Disability Services, Room S5

2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Lathrop Hall, Main Lounge

In previous years, depression screenings have been held only at the MU Student Center.

"These screenings help people to have an avenue to get awareness and to get help," David Wallace, director of the MU Counseling Center, said. "We want to draw attention to the need to be aware."

The National College Health Assessment conducted by the American College Health Association reported that the number of students reporting being diagnosed with depression rose from 10 percent in 2000 to 18 percent in 2008. Of the students surveyed in the study, 6 percent said they had seriously considered suicide in the past year, and 1 percent had actually attempted suicide. 

Another problem is that only a fraction of students who are depressed are getting treatment.

According to a study by Steven Garlow, Jill Rosenberg and David Moore for the American Foundation for Suicidal Screening project at Emory University in 2008, only 14 percent of students who screened positive for depression were in treatment, and 16 percent who reported suicidal thoughts were in treatment.

Despite the negative statistics, Wallace said campus resources and services have reduced the number of suicides among college students.

"College students have a suicide rate that is half that of the rest of their peers in that age group," Wallace said. "There is a lot of support on campuses and we need to build that up even more."

Supervising editor is Katherine Reed.

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