The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 20, 2002 - 3A
responds as student
depression levels increase
The University's Institute for
Research on Women and Gender
Panel is holding a discussion titled
"Developmental Perspectives on
Success and Social Inequality: A
The discussion will feature edu-
cation and statistics Prof. Stephen
Raudenbush, University of North
Carolina social work Prof. Oscar
Barbarin, Howard University psy-
chology Prof. A. Wade-Boykin, Cal-
ifornia State University psychology
Prof. Jean Phinney and University
of Pennsylvania psychology Prof.
The conversation is today in 2239
Lane Hall at 2 p.m.
'U' prof. to perform
Liszt at recital
School of Music piano Prof. John
Ellis isperforming Liszt's Annee de
pelerinage, J. S. Bach's Partita no.
4, Robert Schumann's Toccata op.
7 and David Noon's Berceuse and
Hornpipe 8 p.m. tomorrow at the
Music School Recitial Hall.
poet reads from
Julie Sheehan will read from her
new collection of poems "Thaw" at
8 p.m. tomorrow at Shaman Drum
The collection won 2nd prize at
Fordham University Press's Annual
Poets Out Loud Prize. Singing and
refreshments will follow.
The Basement Arts group is hosting
its popular and unconventional "24-
Hour Theatre: Part VI" evening with
the premieres of four one-act plays.
The plays are all written the night
before the premiere and given to
directors the morning of the premiere,
giving actors nine hours to rehearse.
Performances begin 10 p.m. tomorrow
at the Arena Stage, in the Frieze
Building. Arrive early for best seating.
Art Museum hosts
The University Museum of Art is
hosting a traditional Japanese tea
ceremony in its teahouse, Sunday at
3 p.m. The theme of the ritual is
"The Moon Shining with Renewed
Brilliance," enacted in the style of
Sekishu. A discussion about the cer-
emony's symbolism will follow.
Hosting the Center for International
and Comparative Law, Human Rights
Watch Europe and Central Asia execu-
tive director Elizabeth Andersen is host-
ing a discussion titled "The Trial of
Slobodan Milosevic: Courtroom or Car-
nival?" at 1116 Hutchins Hall on Mon-
day, at 3:40 p.m. Refreshments will be
The School of Art and Design is
sponsoring the Prison Creative Arts
Project, giving Michigan prison
inmates an opportunity to explore
their creative sides by presenting
their written works in "When Can
These pieces address issues prisoners
face, including readjusting to the outside
world. At the Performance Network,
Using biomorphic imagery,
images of deadly diseases, such as
ebola and anthrax are manifested in
works of art exploring the themes of
biotechnology and genetics.
Artist and Geneticist Hunter
O'Reilly lectures about his work
today, at 7 p.m., at the Warren Rob-
bins Gallery in the Art and Archi-
By Dan Trudeau
For the Daily
The Board of Regents' approval of the University's new
Depression Center in December and the recent launch of a
$230,000 University study dedicated to the research of adoles-
cent depression are both significant signs of growing aware-
ness about mental health issues on campus.
Such concern is justified as mental health issues, particular-
ly pertaining to depression and anxiety, have become increas-
ingly severe on campus in recent years, University Health
Service officials said.
According to UHS Director Robert Winfield, depression or
anxiety accounted for approximately 1,600 student visits to
UHS between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001, almost two and
a half percent of the total number of visits during that period.
"We're having more people coming and admitting to us
that they're depressed or anxious than in previous years,"
Although it is generally said that college students are espe-
cially susceptible to depression and anxiety disorders due to
the unique stresses of university life, Winfield said that these
problems might begin to develop before students ever arrive in
"It's my general opinion that more students are coming to
this university on medications for depression and anxiety than
10 years ago."
LSA sophomore Sarah Young expressed a similar sentiment
to Winfield. "I think that there's quite a lot of depression
among college students, and most people at this university are
not aware of it because of social expectations and because of
the expectation that people will just get over it or that they are
just stressed. It's perceived as being a symptom of being ambi-
tious rather than depression,"Young said.
Statistics from the Division of Student Affairs confirm Win-
field's suspicions. The results of recent SERP questionnaires,
which are nationally required surveys incoming freshmen fill
out about personal history, reveal that a growing number of
University freshmen reported having felt both "overwhelmed"
and "depressed" in the year leading up to college.
Between 1995 and 1998, the percentage of "overwhelmed"
freshmen jumped from a little more than 21 percent to 33 per-
cent, and the number of students feeling depressed rose from
5.6 percent to more than 9 percent, the surveys state.
"I know I feel overwhelmed. I think it's because I'm not
used to the competition here," LSA freshman Megan Ritt said.
Since 1998, high rates of mental distress have abated some-
what, but in 2001, the number of freshmen feeling depressed
remained about 1.5 percent higher than in 1995. Melinda Mat-
ney, Department of Student Affairs senior research associate,
said that while such numbers are similar to those of universi-
ties across the country, there are some interesting trends
unique to the University of Michigan.
"When we look at (the University) as an average, we look
like the rest of the nation, but when we separate it into men
and women, we have a very different picture," Matney said.
In 2001, 37 percent of female freshmen at the University
admitted to feeling overwhelmed, 21 percent more than men
and around 10 percent above the national average for students.
Similarly, the rate of depression was 3.5 percent higher for
women than for men, making startling implications about gen-
der and its effects on mental health.
"Women may feel more ready to acknowledge symptoms of
being depressed, but they might also be more likely to have
symptoms' Matney said.
These implications become especially serious when consid-
ered in conjunction with information outlined in the MCare
insurance clinical background on depression. MCare states
that in the most serious cases of adult depression, suicide may
be the cause of death for as high as 15 percent of patients.
Though many University officials said they view depression
as a problem warranting much attention, students disagreed
about the extent to which this issue affects their peers.
"I know a lot of people who kind of have minor bouts with
depression. For most of the people, it's not that big a deal.
They just talk about it with friends and it generally passes,"
Engineering junior Howard Chang said.
But for those students who suspect that they may be
suffering from difficulties with depression or anxiety,
the University offers a variety of free and confidential
services. Counseling and Psychological Services is the
primary and most accessible source for students experi-
encing mental health complications.
CAPS has a full-time staff of social workers and psycholo-
gists that can be reached through the department's website,
www.umich.edu/~caps, or through walk-in appointments. In
more severe cases, CAPS refers students to a psychiatrist at
the University's Riverview Clinic.
LSA sophomores Justin Adelipour and Mike Geutile practice
kicking in front of their house on Packard Street yesterday.
By Autumn Brown
and Erin Saylor
For the Daily
For those who live in certain Third World
countries, death from treatable illnesses such
as malaria and sleeping sickness, is a para-
doxical reality. Fortunately, awareness of the
disparity is increasing as American medical
groups have chosen to provide a voice for
those who are not viable consumers for phar-
One such group is Doctors Without Bor-
ders, a humanitarian organization based in
New York City that provides emergency med-
ical care to inhabitants of more than 85
The organization includes volunteer doc-
tors, nurses, water/sanitation engineers,
logistic experts and other members of the
medical profession who are commissioned to
treat victims of war casualities, disasters,
epidemics and those who live in rural areas.
"Most of us can't imagine not being able to
get medical treatment if we get sick," said
Nicolas de Torrente, Executive Director of
Doctors Without Borders USA.
"Yet in poor countries, people are dying
every day because the medications used to
treat the diseases are too expensive, no
longer effective or are not currently being
Doctors Without Borders is currently
"Most of us can't
imagine not being able
to get medical treatment
if we get sick."
- Nicolas de Torrente
Executive Director, Doctors Without Borders
engaged in a 30-city tour of the U.S., which
features an extensive exhibit, "Access to
Essential Medicines EXPO" designed to
underscore the lack of life-saving medicines
available to citizens of developing nations.
Currently, the organization is hosting the
exhibit in Ann Arbor, across from the School
of Public Health Building. The exhibit will
run through the weekend from 10-6 p.m.
"Access to Essential Medicines EXPO" is
open to the public and includes such attrac-
tions as a Wheel of Misfortune, in which vis-
itors are appointed one of five illnesses
shown in the exhibit.
Upon assignment of a disease, visitors are
exposed to graphic photographs displaying
the progression of the illness and given a
diagnoses by MSF medical volunteers.
Visitors to the Doctors Without Borders exhibit received a card describing a disease. In a role-playing
exercise, Rackham student Bethany Lemm receives a simulated medical consultation from Steven
Deadline for commencement
student speaker approaching
By Min Kyung Yoon
For the Daily
Seniors wishing to express their
unique reflection on their college
years through a speech will be given
an opportunity, as the University
has announced the search for a
prospective student winter com-
Kathleen Nolta, a member of last
year's committee and a lecturer in
Chemistry, said in selecting a candi-
date she "looked for creativity - not
just another essay, but something mov-
ing and poetic."
A committee of students, faculty
and staff selects the student speaker.
The process is compromised of several
steps, beginning with the reading of all
submissions and listening to audio-
tapes of the speeches. The final
process consists of narrowing the sub-
missions to three or four and selecting
the final submission.
Committee members select a speech
that highlights academic pursuits and
experiences unique to the University
and that is brief and well written, said
Julie Ashley, development officer at
the Office of the Vice President for
"We look for insights unique to the
University's experience, not just edu-
cation," Ashley said in a written
Seniors had different expectations of
what they wanted to hear in a student
"Commencement speakers usually
inspire graduating seniors by remind-
ing them of their potential and
achievements, but I'd be more inspired
by hearing about someone who tri-
umphed through a personal failure,"
LSA senior Evangelin Lee said.
Some seniors stressed the impor-
tance of brevity and avoidance of over-
romanticizing their college years.
"I don't want to hear any sappy
stuff like 'we'll cherish the moments
we had in college forever,' just noth-
ing too sentimental. I don't really
care as long as the speech isn't too
long," LSA senior Linda Choo said
in a written statement.
The competition is open to Uni-
versity students who will receive a
bachelor's degree during Summer
Term 2002 or Fall Term 2002. Sub-
missions of the author delivering the
speech on a standard audiocassette
or CD must be five minutes in
length. Curriculum vitae or a
resume emphasizing scholarship
and campus leadership are required.
The deadline is 5 p.m. Oct. 16 at the
Office of the Vice President for
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