“About one in six college students will feel depressed at some point during their college career.”
UCF’s Health Services spokeswoman Megan Pabian, along with two other UCF faculty members, have started a campaign on campus to help students manage depression and know the available resources they have to help control the feelings of depression.
“The Bounce Back campaign is about letting students know they are not alone, informing them about simple things they can do to help themselves feel better and bringing awareness to the resources that are on campus to help,” she said.
The campaign, which is slated to launch by UCF’s Healthy Knights Expo on Oct. 7, will provide students with tools for resiliency under UCF Cares.
Ann Marie Palmer, the assistant director of Student Care Services, is helping Pabian launch the campaign to help students learn about depression symptoms, screen themselves and get connected to services on campus.
“Depression can happen at any time. Students are under increasing pressure to be ‘perfect’ or be ‘successful,’” she said. “Students may be placing additional stressors on themselves to reach their goals.”
UCF Cares has also compiled a Bounce Back Action Plan, through which students are encouraged to focus on exercise, mindfulness and stress management, diet and nutrition, sleep, social support and drug avoidance.
“[Students] may not know that they are depressed, but they realize it is impacting their ability to be successful in their academics, make friends, stay focused or find a job,” Palmer said. “We wanted students to understand resiliency, or bouncing back, is possible, but it can take some help and time.”
With information and resources provided by Student Health Services and Counseling and Psychological Services, Bounce Back will offer students tips and resources for managing mild to moderate depression.
“These tools have been proven to lessen the symptoms of depression and are easy to adopt and self-manage, thereby providing a resource that students can use even if they are not comfortable seeking professional help,” the campaign’s site states.
If you or a friend are in a crisis situation, Palmer said do not hesitate to call 911 or the crisis hotline at 407-823-2811.
For more information on the Bounce Back campaign, visit UCFCARES.com/BounceBack.
Rachel Stuart is a News Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.