Fighting seasonal depression at Michigan Tech

We’re heading into the heart of winter where daylight is limited, and those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder may find it hard to get through the day, but one school is making things easier on its students.

Michigan Tech’s counseling department has been helping students that suffer from depression during the winter season for years now. They believe the best therapy comes in the form of full-spectrum lights. Students can set up appointments to use the lights when they want to study or read.

Counseling department head Donald Williams says it’s a necessary service that can help kids through the darker months. “We started doing that just because we had students that we’ve noticed are clearly more depressed in the winter time or not depressed at all in the summer, so about 20 years ago we started using these lights. I think we were one of the first schools in the country,” he said.

Williams says the method has been so well accepted by the medical community that some insurance providers will help with the purchase of the lights if the student obtains a referral from a physician.

He adds that it doesn’t work for everyone, but those who like it prefer it over other methods such as medication.