National Depression Screening Day combats disorder

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - As mental illness awareness week continues, the Michigan State University community is working to break the stigma surrounding depression by taking part in National Depression Screening Day.

“I developed depression when I was a child actually, younger, around middle school age,” said Sarah Jamgotch, the Outreach Assistant at Counseling and Psychiatric Services at MSU.

With depression affecting more than 16 million people in the U.S. each year, Jamgotch says this illness for her, hits close to home.

“I was always stressed out, I always kind of was secluded, didn't really want to talk to anybody,” said Jamgotch.

So Jamgotch says she now wants to help other people find the help that changed her life.

“It affected me so strongly ever since I was a child. I think anybody and everyone should be able to know about their mental health and just get the information and the resources that they need,” said Jamgotch.

These students and staff members are helping others learn their depression status by having people fill out surveys to see if they're mentally healthy.

“I hope that they gain an idea of mental health, and kind of ways that they can support others that may have concerns,” said Talitha Easterly, the Interim Assistant Director for Outreach, Multicultural Initiatives, and Student Engagement.

Easterly says as some might be afraid to seek resources, she wants them to know it's okay to speak up.

“There's still a stigma attached to counseling, psychiatric services, and so building that exposure on our campus, helping to reduce stigma,” said Easterly.

With Jamgotch's experience coming full circle, she says it's now her passion to help others find the light at the end of the tunnel, as she did not too long ago.

“Once I got the resources that I  needed and got to talk about my mental illness, then I was able to meet new people and gain all these great experiences that I wanted and got to do in college,” said Jamgotch.

For more information on mental health resources, or if you’d like to participate in National Depression Screening Day and take the survey, click here:

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