National Depression Screening Day is Thursday, October 10. Like a diabetes screen or blood pressure check, hospitals, clinics, and community organizations encourage everyone to be screened for depression.
Depression affects more than 17 million people worldwide, which is about seven percent of the population. Depression has a wide variety of symptoms and can manifest differently in different people. Some of the symptoms of depression may be changes in sleep, changes in appetite, loss of energy, hopelessness, physical aches and pains, and suicidal thoughts. Depression can feel like an extremely debilitating illness, but treatment is available in the form of psychotherapy, medication and alternative approaches.
Why is National Depression Screening Day important?
- Increasing education – this allows people to understand depression, whether they have the diagnosis themselves, or if they know someone who is living with depression.
- Provides resources – the more we know about depression, the better we can help other people locate physicians and mental health providers who can treat them.
- Fights the stigma – depression and mental illness are often “taboo” topics. National Depression Screening Day can encourage individuals to share their own stories and offer support to someone who may be just starting the fight.
Where can I go to get screened?
Talk to your doctor or reach out to a mental health professional. Depression screenings are a part of your primary care and screenings should be offered during your yearly physical. Mental health professionals have a wide array of tools and questionnaires to screen for many mental health concerns, including depression.
Whether you are living with depression or you know of someone who is, or you support individuals living with depression in your work, use this day to encourage the people in your life to get screened! Mental health is just as important as physical health. JFS offers a wide variety of services to help with depression. Visit our website to learn more.