Screening for Depression and Suicide Using Email

BaltoroGlacier For the first time, email has been used to screen college students for clinical depression at 4 major US universities, as a feasible and inexpensive way to detect the disorder. The findings were presented at the American Psychiatric Association 2010 Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Undergraduate and graduate students at 4 colleges were invited through email to complete a depression screening survey. Students who agreed to participate were linked to an online questionnaire to answer demographic and treatment history questions and asked to complete the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9). A total of 631 students consented to take the survey. About one quarter of the students were identified as having clinical symptoms of depression. Of these, almost 13% reported having suicidal symptoms.