It’s national Depression Screening day, and the University of Northern Iowa’s doing its part, with two sessions at the campus counseling center where students can fill out a questionnaire assessing the symptoms of depression. Dr. Paula Gilroy is the center’s acting director.
She says they’ll see a video and lecture, then meet with a professional to have the questionnaire interpreted. Gilroy says the UNI counseling center’s open for students struggling with depression, and so are community centers in Cedar Falls.
Family Service League and Blackhawk Grundy Mental Health Center will both see people and charge fees on a sliding scale. Dr. Gilroy says she’s seen “quite a few” people lately who’ve sought counseling after the news of the terrorist attacks of September 11th.
She says they’ve had general anxiety, panic attacks, and some former clients have come back. Gilroy says some people have a pretty high level of anxiety anyway, and the World Trade Center attacks, and news that there may be an ongoing war, tends to increase that.
She says students are looking at their futures, and that produces anxiety in a lot of people. To keep from getting too stressed out by ominous current events, Gilroy advises people not to watch constant replays of the attack videos. Here’s what she’d tell a student badly upset or depressed by the threat of terrorist attacks.
She reminds clients that the attack happened only once, and they should get with family and friends, remember they’re here in Iowa where it’s safe, and do something that will empower them. Gilroy says millions of Americans are affected by depression.