Columbia - The MU Counseling Center offers free depression screenings for students Thursday. This event is in honor of National Depression Screening Day--a part of National Mental Illness Awareness Week.
According to Psychologist Christy Hutton, it is important to identify depression as early as possible. Hutton says common symptoms of the illness include an increase in anger or irritability, a decrease in energy, feeling hopeless, sad, experiencing a change in sleep patterns, having difficulty concentrating, and/or having thoughts of suicide. The National Mental Health Association (NMHA)- says treatment works 80% of the time for depression.
According to the NMHA, more than 9.5% of American adults experience depression and more than 500,000 people get screened each year for the illness.
At the MU Student Center Atrium, the MU Counseling Center hopes to reach more than 300 students Thursday. Students can fill out a short questionnaire and then privately speak with an on-site counselor about the results. This is the first time in several years MU has held an event like this. According to Hutton, only one faculty member has a distant memory of a similar event held long ago at the University.