Addressing depression in Western Carolina University students : the role of exercise

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Shauna M. Sleight (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Kofi Lomotey

Abstract: Western Carolina University (WCU) experienced an increase in the number of studentswith depressive symptoms over the past few years, an upsurge that is congruent withnational trends. In an effort to combat the pressure put on Counseling and PsychologicalServices (CAPS) and to provide a more comprehensive approach to student mentalhealth, Campus Recreation and Wellness partnered with CAPS at WCU to develop animprovement effort. The purpose of the improvement effort was to implement anexercise intervention for traditionally-aged undergraduate students with mild to moderatedepression to reduce stress levels, ultimately resulting in a reduction in depressivesymptoms. In this improvement effort I sought to address three questions: 1) What are thebarriers that prevent WCU students with depression from pursuing a regular exerciseprogram? 2) Does an exercise intervention decrease the prevalence of depressivesymptoms in WCU students with depression? 3) Does an exercise intervention assist inthe development of regular exercise habits for WCU students with depression? Eightparticipants, age 18-25, with a clinical diagnosis of mild to moderate depressioncompleted participation in the intervention. Overall, the results of the data analysissupport exercise as an intervention for depression and assessment of the programsupports the continuation of such a program with recommendations for expansion at WCU.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
counseling, depression, mental health, personal training
Western Carolina University -- Students -- Mental health
Depression, Mental -- Exercise therapy
Depression, Mental -- Treatment
Stress (Psychology) -- Prevention
Exercise -- Health aspects
Exercise -- Psychological aspects
College students -- Mental health

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