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KNOXVILLE – As part of National Anxiety and Depression Awareness Week and Mental Health Month, the Psychological Clinic at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will be hosting a free anxiety and depression screening day to provide public education about the conditions and offer referrals for individuals suffering from these disorders.

The screenings will be conducted from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, at the Psychological Clinic, 227 Austin Peay Building, 1404 Circle Drive. Screenings will be conducted on a walk-in basis by graduate students in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program and supervised by licensed psychologists.

This event is open to the public.

“This is a free screening to provide information, support, and referrals related to potential symptoms of depression and anxiety to members of the community,” said Sara Elkins, clinic coordinator and doctoral student in clinical psychology. “It is an easy way to learn what you can do to help yourself manage these symptoms so they do not negatively impact your life functioning.”

More than 18 percent of adults will experience levels of clinical anxiety and almost 7 percent will experience a major depressive disorder over the course of their lifetime. Many people believe that a depressive disorder is a passing blue mood, or that people can “pull themselves together” to get better. Similarly, many believe that symptoms of anxiety will improve simply by facing their fears.

However, without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or even years.

“Obtaining reliable information about the symptoms of clinical depression and anxiety can help you learn ways to manage your symptoms and reduce their impact on your life functioning,” said Elkins. “Similarly, providing information to your friends and family about the symptoms and impact of depression can help them to understand your struggle and learn to provide helpful support and encouragement during your treatment.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the symptoms of depression and anxiety—either for themselves, a friend, or family member—can attend the screening day and receive a brief consultation about these symptoms and the importance of seeking treatment. Referral information also can be provided in handout format so that individuals can pass it along to other individuals who may be interested in treatment services in the Knoxville community.

The clinic also can provide a brief consultation and referral information to individuals who know a friend or family member who may be suffering from depression or anxiety. Research indicates that social support is a significant factor in symptom improvement, so a desire to educate oneself and provide support to someone suffering from these symptoms will only add to their symptom improvement.

C O N T A C T:

Sara Elkins (865-974-2161)

Whitney Holmes (865-974-5460, wholmes7@utk.edu)