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Depression on College Campuses conference

ANN ARBOR, Mich. College is a time of transitions: leaving home, taking on new responsibilities, facing new academic and financial pressures, and building different support systems. While some degree of stress is normal in times of transition, for some students, it can become overwhelming.

Add to that a lack of sleep time and alcohol consumption, and you have a recipe for depression. In fact, all three of those factors stress, sleep, and alcohol - can make students more prone to developing depression or exacerbate existing symptoms. In fact, depression vulnerability peaks in a person's late teen years, and experts estimate that as many as 15 percent of college-aged young people may have some form of depressive illness.

On March 9 and 10, experts from around the country will gather at the University of Michigan for a conference addressing depression on college campuses. It will put special focus on the impact that stress, sleep and alcohol have on the onset and progression of depression and bipolar disorder in college-age young adults.

The event is the second Depression on College Campuses conference jointly sponsored by the U-M Depression Center and U-M's Rackham School of Graduate Studies. It follows on the success of the 2003 conference, which attracted more than 500 educators, mental health professionals, students, advocates, authors and scientists and represented the first national conference ever held on the topic.

This year's featured speakers include the directors of three of the National Institutes of Health, noted author and psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D., who will be introduced by CBS's Mike Wallace, and 26-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers football player John Howell, who last June went public about his struggle with depression and his success in receiving treatment.

In addition, students and recent graduates who head mental health awareness and advocacy programs on campuses across the country will lead
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
23-Feb-2004


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