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Student creates depression awareness meetings at BYU-I

BYU-Idaho students are invited to attend weekly meetings for dealing with depression in a spiritual way. The meeting is called “Like a Broken Vessel,” after the talk with the same name written by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Jordan Hughs, a freshman studying accounting, said he started these meetings Fall Semester 2015 because he was prompted by the Spirit to share his experiences dealing with depression.

Hughs said that after his mission and while studying at BYU-I, he would go sit at the temple regularly to study or sit and think.

“I realized a lot of people would go to the temple, especially when it was warmer, just to sit outside,” Hughs said. “A lot of people would pray, a lot of people would cry. You would be surprised how many people would go in just a couple hours.”

He said there was one day when his friend was crying on the temple steps.

He said he asked her what was wrong, and she explained she was depressed being so far from home, and she was really confused if she should go on a mission.

“The Spirit told me, ‘You should tell her not to,’” Hughs said.

He said she told him that was the answer to her prayers.

From that experience, Hughs said he started thinking about creating depression awareness meetings for students on campus.

“I want to help people to deal with depression in a spiritual way,” Hughs said.

Researchers from UCLA surveyed students on college campuses in 2014 and found that one in 10 students feel depressed frequently, according to CBS News.

“It’s not the perfect way because there’s many ways to deal with depression, and I’m not an expert by no means,” Hughs said. “I don’t have any degrees, nothing. All I have is my mind, my spirit and God and how it’s helped me in my experiences.”

Emily Thatcher, a senior studying early childhood/special education, said that sometimes, students are doing all of the things that are considered “church answers.”

“You’re praying, you’re reading your scriptures, you go to the temple, and you still feel down,” Thatcher said. “And my bishop, bless his heart, always tells me to choose Christ, but I thought I was choosing Christ.”

Kaylee White, a sophomore studying social work, said that when she is depressed, she thinks it is her fault that Heavenly Father is not helping her anymore. She said that is not true.

White said the book, The Infinite Atonement by Tad R. Callister, Sunday School General President, explains that Christ is not just there for the finish line, but he is there every step of the way.

“He understands that maybe you can’t continue on, and with his help, you can,” White said.

Hughs said that even if students are not suffering from depression, they probably know someone who does have depression. He said if that unaffected student attends these meetings, what they learn could help that friend in need.

Many students that attended the meeting on March 8 said they were there to try and learn new ways to help friends who were affected by depression.

Hughs said the meetings will be every Tuesday for the rest of the semester at 7 p.m. but to check the Student Activities Web page for the location because it changes.

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