Utah: The Happiest or Most Depressed State?

0 comments, Monday, September 21st, 2009, by Jason Udy, in News

On Sept. 23, Jack Jensen, director of UVU Mental Health Services and Cameron John, associate professor of psychology and licensed psychologist, will discuss two conflicting studies about the happiness of Utahans. The discussion will be held in the Library Auditorium (LI 120) from 9 to 9:50 a.m.

“Our presentation will be about the unique status of Utah being the most depressed state in the nation, according to research conducted by Mental Health America,” said John.

Conversely, Jensen says that Gallup-Healthway’s Well-Being Index “indicated that Utah citizens are happier and smile more than any other state.”

Utah is ranked number one in happiness, followed by Wyoming. West Virginia was last.

John and Jensen will present both studies and describe their own study that they will be conducting this year about the depression levels of students at UVU. They have received a grant from the Center of Engaged Learning (CEL) and will have a student research team assist them with the study.

“We also have conducted research in our own center over the past several years about depression levels among UVU students who visit the counseling center,” said Jensen. “Essentially, there is a steady increase in depression levels as time goes on. It is very interesting research.”

Though Jensen and his team don’t yet know the reasons for the increase in depression levels, it is part of what their research is designed to find out.

For more information about Student Health Services at UVU, visit the Student Health Center in the Student Center Building room SC221/SC222 or online at uvu.edu/studenthealth/

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