OHSU To Offer Free Depression Screenings on One Month Anniversary of Terrorist Attacks

10/05/01    Portland, Ore.

The Behavioral Health Clinic at Oregon Health & Science University is offering free posttraumatic stress disorder and depression screenings in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The free screenings are part of a nationwide effort called National Depression Screening Day. The Portland services will be offered on a walk-in basis on Thursday, Oct. 11, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. OHSU's Behavioral Health Clinic is located at 621 S.W. Alder St., Suite 520, in Portland.

"During National Depression Screening Day, counselors are expecting to identify people who are suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder and serious depression, not just in New York and Washington, D.C., but across the country," said Peter Barbur, L.P.C., director of OHSU's Behavioral Health Clinic.

Barbur witnessed the direct impacts of the tragedies firsthand. He was attending a conference at a hotel across the street from the Pentagon the morning of Sept. 11. He saw American Airlines Flight 77 hit the building and was part of a team that offered mental health services to Pentagon employees who sought refuge in the hotel.

"We saw government employees and several members of the military who were in a state of shock," said Barbur. "However, you didn't have to be on the East Coast to feel the mental impacts of this unspeakable tragedy."

The warning signs for posttraumatic stress disorder are: intense reactions to reminders of the traumatic event, flashbacks or repeated dreams of the traumatic event, difficulty focusing, irritability and anxiety, and sleep disturbance. While most Americans were emotionally affected by last month's tragedies, for many, the effects are lessening. However, for certain people, initial grief, shock and distress remains at a high level and in some cases, it's worsening.

Those who attend the free screenings will be given the opportunity to fill out a free, anonymous, depression and manic-depression questionnaire, obtain free materials about depression, hear an educational presentation, and consult with a clinician individually about their symptoms or the symptoms of someone they are concerned about. Information and referrals will be provided for those whose symptoms are consistent with depression, manic-depression, grief or posttraumatic stress disorder.

The National Institute of Mental Health is a sponsor of National Depression Screening Day. Visit www.mentalhealthscreening.org for more information about the event.

INFORMATION FOR READERS, VIEWERS AND LISTENERS


WHAT:    

Free Depression Screenings - part of National Depression Screening Day

WHEN:   

 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 11

WHERE:    

OHSU Behavioral Health Clinic 621 S.W. Alder St., Suite 520, Portland

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