Approximately 7 percent of University of Idaho students have reported having seriously considered suicide, and about 1 percent said they’ve attempted suicide and often had suicidal thoughts within the past year according to depression screenings conducted by the Counseling and Testing Center.
Because of this, each fall the CTC conducts screenings for mood and anxiety disorders giving students an opportunity to take an assessment determining whether they have symptoms of depression, mania, bipolar disorder, anxiety or posttraumatic stress disorder.
“It is important to raise awareness that mood and anxiety disorders are common,” said Martha Kitzrow, licensed psychologist in the CTC.
CTC counselors will provide depression screenings from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Oct. 10 in the Idaho Commons.
Screenings are available to all students and community members. They are anonymous and free of charge.
“This can help the students put a name on something they’ve been feeling for a while, or see if their symptoms are really that disruptive,” said Melissa Horne, CTC doctoral intern. “A lot of these disorders start right around college age.”
Participants answer questions on a double-sided sheet of paper. Each sheet is then scored and counselors indicate whether or not mood disorder symptoms appear prevalent. Counselors then inform the participant of confidential counseling services at the CTC and possible treatment.
Screenings last no longer than 10 minutes and allow CTC to gather data and track how disorders are appearing on campuses nationally. Those who don’t show signs of a serious mood disorder are still connected to resources around campus.
Each person screened receives a free mood ring.
“It’s totally okay to be hesitant … but it’s a big sign of strength and courage to be able to ask for help,” Horne said.
Arianna Anchustegui can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org