Screenings are the First Step in Getting Treatment
Depression continues to be a genuine issue for millions of Americans. Over 17 million Americans suffer from major depressive episodes, while nearly 48 million suffer from anxiety disorders. These are just the individuals that have received an accurate diagnosis. These numbers could potentially be much higher, which is why depression screening is such a priority.
Millions of Americans live with their affliction without receiving proper treatment or even diagnosis. That is why every year, Screening for Mental Health, Inc. sponsors National Depression Screening Day during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October. It occurs annually on October 8th.
Regardless of who you are, what you do, and where you come from, depression and other mental health disorders can impact you. Not only that, but they affect those around you, such as your friends, family members, and coworkers.
National Depression Screening Day exists to ensure that people receive an informed diagnosis, putting them in a better position to receive the help they need. Plus, it brings depression into the light, showcasing how much of an issue it truly is. The entire month of October is a time to educate the public on the signs and symptoms of mental illness, along with the effective treatments.
If you or someone you love is living with depression or another mental health condition, do not hesitate. Give Lifeworks Counseling Center a call today and let us help.
What is National Depression Screening Day?
Every year on October 8th, Screening for Mental Health, Inc. sponsors National Depression Screening Day. The organization chose this date because it falls in the middle of Mental Illness Awareness Week (October 4-10, 2020).
Screening for Mental Health, Inc. began National Depression Screening Day in 1991. For nearly three decades, this organization has created programs and gathered information to educate and raise awareness about the many mental health disorders that threaten the country. One of the main focuses of this day is accessible screenings.
Screening for Mental Health pioneered the first voluntary mental health screening initiative in the early 1990s. Since then, thousands of organizations have participated, installing depression screenings on this day and throughout the week of Mental Illness Awareness Week. They encourage community organizations, schools (high schools and colleges), workplaces, and military bases to institute regular depression screenings.
Remember, these screenings are not professional diagnoses. These screenings help you recognize the presence of depressive symptoms. If any appear, those performing the screenings will give you a referral for further evaluation for an accurate diagnosis and adequate treatment.
National Depression Screening Day helps educate the public on common symptoms of depression and other mental health disorders. The objective of this day is to create a world where mental illness is viewed and treated with the same level of care and respect as physical illnesses.
Symptoms of Depression
One of the goals of this day is to spread vital information regarding depression and other mental health disorders. Far too many people go through life without realizing that they are living with depression or some other form of mental illness.
National Depression Screening Day exists to raise awareness about the symptoms of depression. Hopefully, the more people know about mental illness, the more willing they will be to get screened and diagnosed.
Some signs of depression include:
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Trouble concentrating
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, or worthlessness
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable (making music, reading, sports, sex, etc.)
- Aches and pain (headaches, back pains, muscle tightness, etc.)
- Lashing out irrationally
- Frequent thoughts of death, suicidal thoughts, or suicidal tendencies
If you suffer from all or some of these symptoms, a depression screening may prove helpful. They will be able to help you understand your condition, diagnose you, and refer you to the appropriate places to help get the treatment you need.
Why is National Depression Screening Day so Important?
For years, people have downplayed the significance of mental health disorders. They often treat it as an afterthought. Many people see it as just a fleeting feeling of sadness. They do not realize how difficult and debilitating it can be.
Clinical depression is a serious medical condition. If someone does not receive proper care and treatment, this condition can worsen, often leading to suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. In 2018, there were roughly 1.4 million suicide attempts. Unfortunately, 48,344 lost their lives to suicide.
People who experience symptoms of depression often believe that it’s just a normal part of life. They never think to meet with a mental health expert to receive a proper diagnosis or treatment. In fact, only 43% of adults with mental illness get the treatment they need in a given year.
Screenings are often the first step in ensuring those who need it get help. As we have already stated, mental health professionals can identify depression during these screenings and assist you in finding help.
Additionally, National Depression Screening Day spreads vital mental health information that teaches the general public about common signs, symptoms, and effects of depression. It puts resources in the hands of those who need them the most. Whether you struggle with depression or know someone who does, this day aims to make resources more available.
Ending the Stigma
People still view mental illness as something that they should hide. People feel ashamed of their affliction and choose to suffer alone. On this day, we ask you to come together as a community to learn more about depression and help end the stigma surrounding it. By spreading resources and encouraging screenings, you can help save lives.
National Depression Screening Day is just one of the many activities and days throughout Mental Illness Awareness Week and beyond that aims to spread awareness and resources for those living with mental illness.
If you or someone you love is struggling with depression, do not hesitate to give Lifeworks Counseling Center a call today. We will give you the tools you need to live life well again.