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.