Counseling Services screens students for depression

Written by: 
Keryna Monson ~ Multimedia Journalist

The Counseling Services Center held a Depression Screening for two days in early October to help bring awareness to the issue of depression on campus.

Emily Bennion, a senior majoring in social work from Utah, said some students who struggle with other problems might worry they aren’t safe to discuss certain things for fear of getting kicked out of school. But the Counseling Services is totally confidential. Nothing that a student tells a counselor while in a session will ever be relayed to the Office of Honor, she said.

The Counseling Center on campus offers free counseling to all students and staff on the campus. Counseling Services have trained staff on hand every Monday through Friday to help students struggling with all types of mental and emotion stresses.

John Blue Star, a 4th year clinical psychologist intern, said, “We have professional services that truly give students the opportunity to flourish, to feel better about themselves and to accomplish their goals. Everyone who comes in will leave with a better knowledge of weather or not they are suffering from depression and have an opportunity to get help if they want it.”

There are students on the campus who are suffering from a range of different emotional stresses, said Counseling Services staff. The most challenges are depression and culture shock. This semester there are students who came to school in Hawaii who had never been to America before, they said, and this lead to culture shock.

“I think there are many people who are too afraid or they don’t feel comfortable coming in to talk about these things. So having a depression screening day like today allows them to come in without feeling uncomfortable because there are a lot of people here,” said Brittany Barlow, a junior majoring in EXS from Utah.

Barlow was a volunteer at this semester’s Depression Screening, and she said if people are depressed it doesn’t mean they have to take pills. There are other things they can do to help themselves such as physical exercise.

Elder Jeffrey Holland in his October General Conference address spoke on the perils of depression. In his talk he said, “In preventing illness whenever possible, watch for the stress indicators in yourself and in others you may be able to help. As with your automobile, be alert to rising temperatures, excessive speed, or a tank low on fuel. When you face ‘depletion depression,’ make the requisite adjustments. Fatigue is the common enemy of us all—so slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill. Physicians promise us that if we do not take time to be well, we most assuredly will take time later on to be ill.

“If things continue to be debilitating, seek the advice of reputable people with certified training, professional skills, and good values. Be honest with them about your history and your struggles. Prayerfully and responsibly consider the counsel they give and the solutions they prescribe. If you had appendicitis, God would expect you to seek a priesthood blessing and get the best medical care available. So too with emotional disorders. Our Father in Heaven expects us to use all of the marvelous gifts He has provided in this glorious dispensation.”

Emily Murphy, a senior majoring in psychology from Laie, said, “I think the key is to just say that yes I am suffering from depression. We should be open enough to try to get help from each other and be willing to support each other as well.” Murphy was also a volunteer at the Depression Screening and in charge of the Elder Holland Tour section of the screening.