To the Daily:

An opportunity to speak up about mental health issues

In her column Friday Kate Truesdell did her part to help reduce the stigma of depression, bipolar and anxiety by talking about her own struggles and the struggles of her family members who have been diagnosed with these disorders (The depressing state of our minds, 02/15/2008). While one could take issue with her use of the word “crazy” to describe how she feels, her discussion of the prevalence of depression and related conditions on college campuses is an important one.

This issue is so important that five years ago leadership at the University of Michigan Depression Center partnered with the University’s Counseling and Psychological Services along with other campus entities to create the Depression on College Campuses Conference. In its 6th year, this year’s conference will take place at Rackham March 18-19, and will focus on creating healthy communities. This national conference, which is free to students, brings together experts from across the country to present model programs, research studies and practical strategies for addressing the mental health needs of diverse student bodies. It also recognizes outstanding student leadership in the area of campus mental health with a Student Mental Health Advocate Award.

We encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity for open and honest dialogue, as Truesdell advocated in her column, by attending this conference.

Gail Campanella

The letter writer is the chief of staff for the University of Michigan Depression Center

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