Depression a campus plague

Sep 132010
Authors: Keeley Blakley

Nationally, 40 percent of college students say they have experienced depression severe enough that it is difficult to function.

CSU is employing new strategies to pinpoint some of these students who need resources for depression and suicidal thoughts.

Students that are dealing with depression, thoughts of suicide or even stress are encouraged to visit The Zone, located in the Lory Student Center, Aylesworth Hall or Hartshorn Health Center.

“We are trying to create a ‘there’s no wrong door place to go,’” said Anne Hudgens, interim executive director of the CSU Health Network.
Last school year, six CSU students committed suicide, compared to seven students during the 2008-2009 school year.

Hudgens said it was hard to know what causes the suicide rate to spike or decrease but said the CSU Health Network has been working hard to improve resources for depression and suicide on campus.

The Zone is a great entry point for students to learn to deal with stress, Hudgens said. Students can talk with a student health coach and learn techniques to relieve and manage the stress of everyday life.

In Aylesworth Hall, students can talk with a counselor about their issues.

Doctors and nurse practitioners at Hartshorn Health Center are taught to screen students for depression and recommend resources to those students.
Through the National Collegiate Depression Partnership, the university has also employed an assessment for screening students for depression called the Patient Health Questionnaire. Patients that receive high scores are given more information on what resources are available to them.

Of college students, about one in 10 experiences thoughts of suicide and 3 percent said these thoughts were persistent. While this is a small percentage of students on campus, the university is trying to get the word out about how students can find help, Hudgens said.

CSU is still in the introductory stage of adding online instructions to aide faculty and staff in recognizing students in distress and suggesting resources to help.

CSU Health Network’s education and prevention, medical and counseling services are working together to prevent suicide and get students the help they need.

“We encourage students not to wait. Ask for assistance,” Hudgens said. “Help is available.”

Anyone needing emergency mental health services after hours is asked to call 970-491-7111 for 24-hour counseling.

Staff writer Keeley Blakley can be reached at

For more information:

Go to for suicide and depression rates and places students can find help.

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