Depression Screening Day: Help for you and your loved ones

Photo by Scott Wells/Prospectus News Parkland Counselor Jennifer Klatsky gives opening remarks at the National Depression Screening Day event on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014.  Symptoms of depression can include prolonged sadness, significant changes in eating and sleeping patterns, and social withdrawal.

Photo by Scott Wells/Prospectus News
Parkland Counselor Jennifer Klatsky gives opening remarks at the National Depression Screening Day event on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. Symptoms of depression can include prolonged sadness, significant changes in eating and sleeping patterns, and social withdrawal.

Kaleb Schwaiger

Staff Writer

There are days in everyone’s life when they feel down in the dumps, tired, perhaps even disinterested in normally fun activities. These are signs of depression that almost everybody experiences from time to time. For some people, it’s a never ending battle. Wednesday, Nov. 5 was National Depression Screening Day here at Parkland College.

Monica Cherry, a Crisis Coordinator at Community Elements, talked about how people can feel all alone in their depressed states. They don’t want to reach out to others for fear of bringing them down, or because they think that others will not understand.

“We are here to help correct that way of thinking. We offer a wide variety of outlets for help,” Cherry said.

Community Elements has a dedicated crisis center that specializes in mental health evaluations, assessing suicidal and homicidal patients, and prescribing help and proper treatment. Some of the other services offered by Community Elements include a 24 hour crisis hotline, with the ability to offer voluntary or involuntary hospitalization. They also have group homes and a youth center, as well as community support groups.

“We are here to help out with these ways and more,” Cherry added.

Judy Brown, Chief Admissions Officer at the Pavilion Center for Addiction Recovery in Champaign, talked about the vital services provided by the Pavilion.

“We offer mental and behavioral health treatments, primarily for addicts and those with a suicidal mindset. We typically hospitalize a patient for anywhere from ten to fourteen days, and continue checking up with them after that point,” Brown said.

Brown also explained that depression and drug use can go hand in hand. Sometimes mixing depressive feelings with the rollercoaster effects of drugs can lead to a vicious cycle of never being happy.

Some of the services offered at the Pavilion help combat that cycle such as inpatient detoxification, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, and other individualized treatment plans.

According to their website, the Pavilion was recognized by the Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measure (sic) for 2012. The Pavilion offers high quality treatment for those in need, and refers different support groups to the family and friends of those afflicted.

The Family Service Self-Help Center provides a listing of dozens of different help groups. These groups include addiction and dependency, physical and emotional abuse, health groups, parenting, youth and student, bereavement, and sexual orientation among others.

For students at Parkland, the counselors in U267 are on hand for short term counseling. They offer somewhere around six to eight short, 15 minute sessions to help assess students and get them back on track.

Dennis Cockrum, a counselor at Parkland, touted the effectiveness of these short sessions.

“Students sometimes need a gentle nudge in the right direction, to know someone out there understands and can help. The services we have in the community and here at the college are lifesavers for some,” Cockrum explained.

Students wishing to set up an appointment can visit the office located in room U267, or call 217-351-2416. After a brief assessment, further counseling times can be set up as needed. The assessments can be done either by phone or in person, and usually take 15 minutes.

Appointments are usually scheduled for the next week, but in an emergency a session could be set up for that same day.

“We hope you will come if you are struggling yourself, or bring a friend if they need help,” Cockrum added.

For more information regarding counseling sessions or group help services, the Counseling and Advising Center located in room U267, is a hub for all these needs and more.