Depression is a common but often ignored mental condition that can potentially lead to dangerous behavior (such as alcohol abuse and drunk driving), self harm, harm of others, or even suicide if not addressed and properly treated. Unfortunately, many people are left untreated for too long, whether they did not recognize the symptoms, denied their depression, or felt too embarrassed or ashamed to seek help, thanks to the stigma and negativity often attached to depression and other mental illnesses.
Held every year during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, National Depression Screening Day was created by Screening for Mental Health (SMH) to erase the stigma and negativity of depression, raise awareness of the symptoms of depression and the dangers that can result if left untreated, and encourage people to seek help for their depression. National Depression Screening Day achieves all of this by offering free depression and related mood and anxiety disorder screenings and encouraging people to get screened if they suspect they are suffering from depression. This year, National Depression Screening Day falls on October 10.
Because some groups of people are affected by depression under unique circumstances and require unique understanding and treatment, SMH offers programs for the military, colleges and universities, businesses, and the general public. On National Depression Screening Day, screenings will be provided for each of these groups of people across the United States. While the programs only offer screenings, program hosts can provide you with referral information for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
If you can’t find a screening host near you or want to get screened any time of the year, visit your doctor for a screening or take an anonymous depression screening test online at www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.com.
To learn more about depression, signs and symptoms, and the road to recovery, visit www.helpguide.org. If you think you might have depression, get screened on October 10 (or any time throughout the year) or seek help.