Facts About Depression:

  • Depression is a common mental health problem that varies in severity and duration.
  • In its less serious form, depression is a temporary reaction to loss, stress, or life challenges. It can be alleviated through the passage of time and/or the natural healing effects of social strategies like finding personal purpose and meaning through regular exercise, a healthy diet, hobbies, and social engagement.
  • Severe or chronic depression usually requires professional help.
  • Research shows that depression can be highly responsive to both therapy and medication.
  • Symptoms of depression can include:
    • Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness
    • A deep sense of sadness
    • An inability to experience pleasure
    • Irregular eating and sleeping
    • Difficulties with concentration, memory, and decision-making
    • Fatigue and social withdrawal
    • Sometimes depression includes irritation, anxiety, and anger.
    • In its most serious form, depression can be accompanied by self-destructive thoughts and intentions as a way to escape from the emotional pain.

What You Can Do

  • Talk to the student in private.
  • Listen carefully and validate the student’s feelings and experiences.
  • Be supportive and express your concern about the situation.
  • Discuss clearly and concisely an action plan such as having the student immediately call for a counseling appointment.
  • Refer the student to Personal Counseling 401.865.2343.
  • Be willing to consider or offer flexible arrangements to alleviate the student’s stress and instill hope.
  • Ask student if he/she has thoughts of suicide. If so, do not leave student alone. Walk him/her over to Personal Counseling. If it is after 4:30pm, or on the weekend, access emergency services by calling 401.865.2222.
  • Call the Office of Public Safety for assistance at 401.865.2222, 24/7.​​​​

What You Should Avoid Doing

  • Downplaying the situation.
  • Arguing with the student or disputing that the student is feeling depressed.
  • Providing too much information for the student to process.
  • Expecting the student to stop feeling depressed without intervention.
  • Assuming the family knows about the student’s depression.