Dozens of mental health groups around the state are encouraging Minnesotans to undergo an evaluation for depression today during National Depression Screening Day.
Nationwide, thousands of participating organizations include hospitals, colleges, community centers and military installations. The depression screenings are free and anonymous.
Organizers say the difficult economic climate has put extra strain on many residents.
Lisa Hanes is a counselor at St. Paul College which is participating in the anonymous screening event. Hanes said many of her students are trying to make do with less money or financial help — and the stress of that situation often leads to anxiety and depression.
"We're seeing a lot of students who are having housing issues, for sure," Hayes said. "And I think some of them are nervous about what the future's going to hold when they graduate."
Bridget Joos, coordinator of wellness and violence prevention at the University of Minnesota Morris, said Morris students have shown more interest in depression screening in recent years.
"Students are taking more responsibility for their mental health, that they recognize some symptoms that they may be having or may have noticed that friends have had and have wanted to do something about their mental health without waiting or without trying to do it themselves," Joos said.
National Depression Screening Day, info at http://www.helpyourselfhelpothers.org