Our View: Stop the cycle before it begins

Fifteen minutes can seem like an eternity during a long class. But once we spring forth from classes, minutes magically turn into hours.

For students, life moves quickly. We juggle classes, jobs, relationships, homework and a host of other things that fall into the realm of being a young adult. It’s now or never, we say. We want to do it all. And, we want to do it all well. We’re classic overachievers.

And therein lies the problem: Workloads overwhelm us. Stress follows. And for some, depression strikes.

A 15- to 20-minute process yesterday, however, sought to halt that cycle. Psychological Services and University Health Services teamed up with Coca-Cola to provide free depression screening for students. In the past, between 350 and 500 students have turned out for the screenings, which can act as a catalyst for students getting help.

In addition, the Office of Safety and Security launched a suicide awareness campaign on campus this month while trying to raise $1,000 for the Portage County Suicide Prevention Coalition.

We’re glad to see the university taking a proactive approach in dealing with mental health issues. Depression victims should not suffer silently until it’s too late. Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.

Based on statistics, you or someone you know has been impacted by suicide. A person dies by suicide about every 16 minutes in the United States, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. That means for about every person who takes the 15- to 20-minute depression screening test, another person takes his or her own life.

Imagine how many lives could be saved if more people took depression screening tests and received professional and medical help. It’s a rare win-win situation.

But we can’t expect the situation to correct itself. Take a look around and listen. If a friend or loved one exhibits signs of depression or expresses suicidal thoughts, don’t take a vow of silence. Encourage that person to seek professional help – and help them do it.

We’re at the halfway point of the semester, with midterms and projects clogging our thoughts. Meanwhile, gray and misty days blanket campus as the warm weather fades.

Clearly, every student, faculty and staff member on this campus has a lot on his or her mind. Hence, the reason we should all take the initiative to combat any signs of depression that creep up on us or our friends and loved ones.

Donate a dollar to the Portage County Suicide Prevention Coalition. Go to informational meetings aimed at raising suicide awareness. Take a depression screening test.

Above all, talk about it. Conversations about depression should not be limited to those among television analysts speaking about the faltering economy.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose members are listed at left.