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October 5th is National Depression Screening Day

Depressed woman“It is really time to flip the script on mental health in this country. It’s time. It’s time to tell everyone who’s dealing with a mental health issue that they’re not alone, and that getting support and treatment isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength.”
– Michelle Obama, Remarks by The First lady at the 2015 “Change Direction” Mental Health Event1

Did you know that every year, roughly one in five adults, or more than 40 million Americans, experience a mental health disorder like depression or anxiety? And did you know that more than half of all mental health disorders go untreated?2

The bottom line is that mental health disorders are common — very common. And yet millions of Americans suffer every day with unnecessary symptoms. So why do so many people go untreated? There are many reasons why people wait to get help, such as shame, stigma, embarrassment or even because they don’t have access to treatment.

Today, Thursday, October 5th is National Depression Screening Day. This day of recognition began in 1990 as an effort to reach individuals across the nation with important mental health education and connect them with support services.

What is a mental health screening?

If you’re considering participating in a depression screening but want to know more about the process, here is what to expect. A screening is usually done in a medical or behavioral health facility and consists of a series of questions. The questions allow a doctor or counselor who is administering the screening to determine if you are in fact experiencing a mental health disorder.

If you are on the fence about participating in a screening, ask yourself if you’re suffering from some of the following symptoms:

  • Do you feel hopeless?
  • Do you feel regularly fatigued regardless of how much you sleep?
  • Do you no longer care about activities that used to bring you joy?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of the above questions, it may be a good idea to partake in National Depression Screening Day. Knowing about your depression is a great first step toward recovery.

The following are two resources that you might find helpful…

Take an Anonymous Screening Online
Horizon’s Depression Questionnaire

Horizon Health Services offers help for people struggling with anxiety, depression, dysthymia and other mental health disorders. If you or someone you love is experiencing any symptoms of depression and live in the Western New York area, please reach out today. You don’t have to suffer in silence. (716) 831-1800.

1. Obama, M. (2015, March 04). Remarks by The First lady at “Change Direction” Mental Health Event. Retrieved October 3, 2017, from https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/04/remarks-first-lady-change-direction-mental-health-event

2. Young, J. (2015, December 30). Untreated Mental Illness. Retrieved October 03, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-your-adult-child-breaks-your-heart/201512/untreated-mental-illness