Natalia Velásquez, M.S., Outreach Coordinator | Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS)
Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health conditions in the United States, affecting approximately 14.8 million adults every year. It is a common, yet serious, mood disorder that can affect one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
Depression that is left untreated can result in severe functional impairments that may interfere with one’s ability to adequately engage in everyday life, such as school, work, socialization, and even taking care of oneself. Although the prevalence of depression is relatively high, approximately 35% of individuals who experience depression do not receive treatment, even though there are many evidenced-based treatments that can help to improve depressive symptoms and emotional well-being.
Up to 80% of individuals who are treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms generally within four to six weeks of beginning treatment. Depression is highly treatable with counseling, medication, and lifestyle changes, such as exercise, nutrition, sleep, social support, and stress reduction.
National Depression Screening Day is celebrated in October during Mental Illness Awareness Week to increase awareness and education on depression and its effective treatments, to offer individuals the opportunity to engage in screening for depression, and to connect those in need of mental health treatment to helpful services and resources. Just like any other illness (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, etc.), health screenings can provide helpful information regarding the first signs of a serious illness and can guide individuals to receive professional consultation and treatment, if needed.
If you, or someone you know, are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please consider taking the free depression screener available on the Florida Tech CAPS website at: https://screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/floridatech
- Persistent sad or “empty” mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain
- Restlessness or irritability
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
The depression screening will consist of answering a brief questionnaire about yourself and your thoughts/feelings, and then receiving an explanation about your mood and behaviors, as well as gaining access to informational materials about what you can do to help yourself and how to get help from a professional. For additional information on depression, please visit the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites.
If you find yourself in need of professional help after taking the screener, please reach out for help! Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is your student counseling center and we are here for you! CAPS provide a variety of mental health and wellness services to assist you and other students in successfully reaching personal, academic, and career goals. Please take a moment to visit our website: https://www.fit.edu/counseling-and-psychological-services/), which includes information on how to request services, as well as many other resources for psychological health and well-being. Our services are highly utilized and encouraged, so that you can be the healthiest Florida Tech Panther you can be!