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Hudson Valley Community College to Present Best-Selling Author and Psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison

CONTACT: Steve Mullen (518) 629-8063
FOR RELEASE: Immediate, Thursday, February 17, 2005

Attending college can be a time of change and stress – both of which are major risk factors for depression, a subject world renowned psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D. will explore on Tuesday, March 8 at Hudson Valley Community College.

Jamison, a professor of Psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and leading authority on mental health, will speak about how depression can affect a student's quality of life. Her lecture begins at 11 a.m. in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center Auditorium. Admission is free.

According to a 2000 study by the American College Health Association, as many as 10 percent of college students arrive on campus already diagnosed with depression, and a five-year study by Kansas State University's counseling center found that 41 percent of its students were experiencing depression from 1996 to 2001.

The Hudson Valley Center for Counseling and Transfer saw more than 80 first-time patients during the 2003-04 school year, and nearly half of those cases formally met the criteria for depression. The office staff had 457 personal psychological appointments during the 2003-04 school year.

"Depression is sometimes hard to recognize," said Dr. Kelly Sweener, director of the Center for Counseling and Transfer. "Most people are familiar with the more obvious signs such as persistent sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. However, less obvious signs including fatigue, impaired concentration, and disrupted eating and sleeping patterns which can certainly impede a student\'s ability to succeed."

Jamison is the author of the New York Times bestseller "An Unquiet Mind," which chronicled her own struggle with manic-depression. The book was selected by the Boston Globe, Entertainment Weekly and the Seattle Post Intelligencer as one of the best books of 1995. She also has authored four other books, including national bestseller "Night Falls Fast: Understanding Suicide."

She received her undergraduate and doctoral degree from UCLA where she was a National Science Foundation Research Fellow, University of California Cook Scholar, John F. Kennedy Scholar, United States Public Health Service Pre-Doctoral Research Fellow and UCLA Graduate Woman of the Year.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certification programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business; as well as programs run through the Educational Opportunity Center offering certification programs in workforce and academic preparation. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has nearly 60,000 alumni.