Dark Ages

On the Beat

It’s January at Case Western Reserve University. The holidays have passed. This is the season of battleship-grey skies, full academic workloads and inescapable, rampaging viruses that turn us all into nose-blowing, hacking coughers. There are many things to like about Cleveland, but most of them don’t happen in January. But hey, at least the sun shines from 12-1 p.m. every day. The Lagoon looks beautiful when frozen solid.

This is the time of year when stress and depression can bite a little harder than normal for many people, for all the reasons mentioned above. Maybe it has to do with lack of sunlight, or stress or maybe it’s because it is freaking cold out there!

While depression can strike staff as well as students, the latter, traditionally, are often at greater risk. This is due to issues like academic and social pressures, distance from home and familiar support systems, and sometimes relationship and substance abuse issues. This can put students at greater risk for the negative consequences of depression ranging from dropping out to suicide.

Fortunately, here at CWRU there are resources to help you deal with these issues if they start to bog you down. The university has its own counseling center, located in the Sears Building, and is reachable at 216-368-5872. The center is staffed by professional counselors, whom you can make an appointment with to have private and privileged conversations about what is going on in your life.

There are also numerous other outlets ranging from the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women to the International Student Center to just talking with your favorite coach, professor, RA, staff member, roommate, classmate, fraternity/sorority member, etc. While the college years pose some unique challenges, rarely in life will you again be in an environment with so much potential support, so take advantage of it if you need it.

The important thing is to remember the old saying that no person is an island. Issues like depression aren’t like the common cold: They rarely go away of their own accord. If the winter blues are starting to bite, take advantage of the resources that are here specifically to help you. Let’s look out for each other.

On the Beat is a weekly safety column written by Sergeant Jeffrey Daberko and Officer Mark (The Crossing Guard) Chavis of CWRU PD. We welcome questions, suggestions and gripes/groans/moans/complaints about campus life at policecolumn@case.edu.