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Dear Charlie:

I am feeling down and blue. I took the online screening for depression and the results indicated that I should have a complete evaluation done. I feel ashamed to ask for help because I think I can get through this on my own, but then I think well maybe I can't. I have put the phone number to schedule an appointment into my phone numerous times, but I can't get the nerve to call. I'm not sure what to do.

Signed: E

Dear E,

Charlie hears that you’re feeling blue. Though feeling down, you seem torn and seem to want help but you are having difficulty making an appointment for counseling. You end your letter with, “I’m not sure what to do”. Charlie will try to offer some suggestions.

It sounds like a part of you knows that you need assistance. This is the part that took the online screening and wrote this letter. Charlie is glad you did so, because these can be an important first steps. Though a part of you wants to reach out, a part of you seems to resist. You say, “I feel ashamed … because I think I can get through this on my own.” Though it is normal to want to handle things on our own, Charlie wants you to know that this it OK to need and ask for help. People are sometimes concerned that this shows weakness. On the contrary, asking for help is actually a statement of strength.

Finally you say, “I’ve put the number in my phone several times but I can’t get the nerve to call”. This indicates that you’ve come very close. Charlie hopes that this response will help give you the extra boost you need to dial the phone and make the call and get the help you need. No one deserves to feel depressed and you deserve to take care of yourself in this way.
In closing, Charlie will offer a few added suggestions for “getting over the hump”. For some, it is good to enlist help. So, you might consider asking a trusted friend or family member to be with you when you make the call and/or when you come in for your first appointment. For some, it is easier to access a medical provider than a mental health provider. If this is true for you, you might consider calling the Health Center (285-8431) first. One of the providers there can do the complete evaluation suggested by the online screening instrument. After meeting and talking with you, the health provider will also make a suggestion about whether it would be helpful to visit the Counseling Center (285-1736) as well.

To getting the help you need and deserve,
Charlie