JJC and Lewis University offer free mental health screenings

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JJC and Lewis University offer free mental health screenings Oct. 11

Published: October 8, 2012.

Joliet Junior College and Lewis University are teaming up to offer students a free mental health check-up on Thursday, Oct. 11 in recognition of National Depression Screening Day.

Students can take a brief, anonymous online screening to learn more about their mental health. The screening provides students with insight into symptoms they might be experiencing and offers helpful treatment and referral information, if necessary.

Everyday stressors, when left unattended, can lead to more serious problems with depression, anxiety and unhealthy forms of self-medication. Added stress from the struggling economy is also having an effect as more students are starting college with parents who are unemployed, increasing the pressure to succeed and find a job following graduation.

“Many students don’t associate their stress with a mood disorder,” said Mildred Holmes, counseling department chair at JJC. “But if stress is left untreated it could develop into long-term anxiety or depression. Our online mental health check-up offers screenings for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder. It’s important to seek help early before stress becomes too much to handle.”

Some of the questions included in the online screening are:

• Have you lost pleasure in things you used to enjoy?

• Do you have trouble sleeping or eating?

• Do you deliberately avoid social situations?

• Does your mood fluctuate between overly “high” and utterly hopeless?

• Do you suffer from unexplained aches and pains?

JJC students can access the screening at www.jjc/info/counseling. Lewis students can access it at www.lewisu.edu/studentservices/health/mentalhealthassessment.htm. The screening will continue to be available after Oct. 11.

National Depression Screening Day is a program of the nonprofit Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (SMH) and is held annually in October as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week. SMH is dedicated to promoting the improvement of mental health by providing the public with education, screening and treatment resources. SMH programs — both in-person and online — educate, raise awareness and screen individuals for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and alcohol use disorders.

Lewis University is a Catholic university offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to more than 6,500 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The ninth largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report.

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