Every three out of ten college students are depressed. Six percent of college students have seriously considered suicide, making suicide the third leading cause of college student death.
This is according to a study by the National Institute of Medical Health that also found depression to be one of the largest contributing factors in suicide.
Depression affects people regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status though it is often more prevalent in college age individuals, according to Robin Vickery, counselor at Central Oregon Community College.
At COCC and Oregon State University-Cascades, free-of-charge, confidential counseling services are available to all enrolled students.
According to Vickery, around 90 percent of students who use the counseling services provided at COCC are dealing with depression.
“I think college can be a stressful time in anybody’s life,” Vickery said.
Because of the unique student population at COCC, with more students having full-time jobs and families, competing stressors often lead to increased depression, Vickery explained.
Though according to the NIMH, depression is a leading factor in suicide, far fewer students are at risk of suicide in comparison to those who struggle with depression.
Each year at COCC, around a dozen students who are at “high risk of suicide” utilize the free counseling services, according to Sharon Richards, another COCC personal counselor.
Being “at-risk” for suicide means that an individual has a specific plan for committing suicide. Richards pointed out “it’s not uncommon to have suicidal thoughts, the individuals who are at risk are those who have a plan to act on them
Vickery and Richards both believe that the majority of depressed students on campus are not coming to receive help due to fear of counseling services.
“[Once students come at least once], getting counseling isn’t that intimidating,” Richards said.
Campus counseling sessions are completely confidential.
COCC Counseling services are open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
For more information on COCC counseling services or to schedule an appointment, call 541-383-7200.
OSU-Cascades Counseling Clinic is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
For more information on OSU-Cascades counseling services or to schedule an appointment, call 541-322-2047.
Nine symptoms of clinical depression:
- Depressed mood, most of the day, nearly every day
- Markedly diminished interest in pleasure in all or almost all activities, most of the day, nearly every day
- Significant weight loss (when not dieting) or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day
- Insomnia or hypersomnia (oversleeping) nearly every day
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation (not thinking clearly) nearly every day
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness nearly every day
- Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan or suicidal attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide
Such symptoms need to be present for at least two weeks to be classified as clinical depression.
Meet your campus counselors
Robin Vickery – COCC
Robin Vickery is licensed clinical social worker, or LCSW, employed by St. Charles Behavioral Health, but is contracted out to the Central Oregon Community College CAP center as a personal counselor.
“I really enjoy working with people,” said Vickery, referring to the reason why she became a counselor. Vickerys’ specialty is working with mood disorders and trauma. When Vickery isn’t working as a counselor she enjoys anything outdoors, including, but not limited to, skiing, camping, and hiking. She also enjoys cooking and spending time with family and friends.
Carolyn Ferreira – OSU-Cascades
Carolyn Ferreira, PsyD, is a Psychologist Resident who earned her doctorate from Pacific University. Before becoming a counselor at OSU-Cascades, she worked at counseling centers at Pacific University and Utah Valley University. In addition to helping students with a variety of concerns such as depression, addictive behaviors, perfectionism, and relationships, Carolyn has special interests working with students who are veterans and students whose spirituality/religion is important to them. Carolyn is also an LGBTQQ ally and enjoys supporting students in the coming-out process. Outside of OSU-Cascades, Carolyn maintains a private practice and enjoys exploring beautiful Central Oregon.
Sharon Richards- OSU-Cascades
Sharon Richards works for St. Charles Behavioral Health as a licensed clinical social worker, though is contracted with Central Oregon Community College part time. Richards received both her bachelor’s and master’s of social work at the University of New England. Having grown up in Maine, Richards moved to Bend in 1999 after falling in love with the scenery and friendly environment. For Richards, helping people came naturally; she never really thought of pursuing any other career. As a counselor Richards specializes in working with depression, anxiety, stress and trauma. Richards also enjoys working with kids and parents, and welcomes any parents attending COCC to come in with their kids or to talk about their kids. Outside of work Richards enjoys skiing, reading, swimming, boating and camping. Richards has an eight month old springer spaniel puppy named Nye, who she or her family takes for walks often. “I want them to know I understand,” said Richards when asked what she would like COCC students to know, “I know how hard it is to see a counselor in a college setting.”
d like COCC students to know, “I know how hard it is to see a counselor in a college setting.”
Linda Krug Porzelius, Ph.D. is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and personal counselor for Oregon State University – Cascades students. She is also Project Director on the Campus Suicide Prevention Grant and has a part-time private practice in Bend. She has nearly always worked in colleges and universities, usually as a Psychology Instructor, and loves working with students. “College is such an exciting time, but also a very stressful time. I love being part of supporting students to reach their career and life goals.” She sees students for problems with stress, anxiety, depression, eating and weight issues, health problems, relationship problems and more. Linda grew up in Bend.
Juli Wright | The Broadside