The Collegian » Depression rates high for college students 2020

About two-out-of-ten college students have some type of mental illness and approximately 19 percent of college-aged individuals attempt or contemplate suicide according to Teendepression.org.  The National Depression Screening Day event at Fresno State and around the country attempted to raise depression awareness and promote treatment for those previously undiagnosed.

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for 15-to-24-year-olds and the second-leading cause of death of college students, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

Many stressors college students endure, such as relationship problems, financial struggles and family issues, can lead to depression and are all commonplace among students who are making the transition from young person to working professional.

In 2008 a survey conducted by the American College Health Association found that “30 percent of students reported feeling so depressed that it was difficult to function, 49 percent suffered from anxiety and more than six percent seriously considered suicide.”

Clinical depression is a serious illness and can lead to suicide, according to Mental Health America, an organization that helped organize the successful Fresno State event “Breaking the Stigma.”  Two thirds of those suffering from depression do not seek the medical treatment they need.

Fresno State has made an effort to combat depression among college students.  National Depression Screening Day took place on Thursday, Oct. 13th in the Student Health Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The screening was free, anonymous and took less than one hour.

Many professors also offered extra credit for attending the event.  The Health and Psychological Services department, in collaboration with Dr. Christine Edminson from the psychology department, hosted the event.

“There are a lot of resources for students pertaining to depression and anxiety which are paid for as a part of their tuition.  Students don’t have to struggle with these issues alone. there are people out there to help them through tough situations,” coordinator of the event Dr. Rebecca Raya-Fernandez said.

“Many times we have helped students who would not otherwise come in.  They came in with their peers and felt more comfortable that way,” Raya-Fernandez added.

“My ex-girlfriend has used the Student Health Center for psychological screening in the past,” a Fresno State student who wished to remain anonymous said.

The national event was developed by Screening for Mental Health Inc., a non-profit company dedicated to promoting the improvement of mental health by providing the general public with screening, education and treatment resources.  The American Psychiatric Association acknowledges it is important to have psychological services on college campuses.

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