Can’t Sleep, Can’t Eat, Feeling Down—Is It Just Law School Blues, or Something More?

It’s that time of year when law school can be a drag.  The weather is turning colder, and course work is increasing.  If you’re hunting for a summer or permanent  job, that can be frustrating and draining.  If you can’t eat, can’t sleep, feel tired and down, is it just law school blues?  Or is it something more?

Today is National Depression Screening Day.  According to BU Today, BU’s Behavioral Medicine Clinic and BU Sargent College’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation “are staffing today’s four screening sites: the GSU Link, the upstairs atrium at Sargent College, the area near the FitRec snack bar, and the School of Public Health’s Talbot 1 East Building, 715 Albany St., on the Medical Campus. Each site will have private areas for students to speak one-on-one with staff. Screening will be offered from noon to 3 p.m. on the Charles River Campus and from 2 to 6 p.m. on the Medical Campus.

During last year’s screening day, 30 percent of the 216 BU students who participated were referred to treatment. In 2009, 64 students showed up for the screening, and the referral rate was also 30 percent, according to Behavioral Medicine.

The screening asks people to fill out a one-page anonymous questionnaire, with results reviewed on site by a mental health professional.  ‘It’s not counseling, says Ross [Dr. Ross, head of BU Behavioral Medicine]. It’s an assessment.’  Fine-tuned over decades of research and used as a self-test on sites like the Mayo Clinic, the screening tool helps counselors distinguish a student at risk from someone who’s merely having a bad week.”

Clinical depression can be treated, and many law students have benefitted from this treatment.  BU’s services are free and totally confidential.  So, if you’re feeling down, take advantage of the free screening.  It could make a huge difference.

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