National Depression Screening Day began in 1990 by the U.S. Congress with the awareness that there is no health without mental health and that about 1 in 4 adults – 26.2% to be exact – suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. The recognition of a national screening day was compelled by the advocacy of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to bring awareness and educate Americans on some relatively common, serious, yet treatable mental health disorders.
As we start off the month of October, we encourage our readers to consider how they might educate and empower themselves by engaging or participating in mental health screenings, evaluate if you are willing to take the StigmaFree Pledge by NAMI (http://www.nami.org/stigmafree), and involve others at your workplace, home, and community, whether it is talking to them about mental health or asking them to engage in similar ways.
Above all else, if you or someone you know has thoughts of suicide be sure to discuss it with family members, close friends, or health care providers and reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273 – TALK
For more information, visit the National Institute of Mental Health at www.nimh.nih.gov or take a free, anonymous online screening or find a site to participate in person at http://helpyourselfhelpothers.org. Be sure to discuss the results with a visit to a clinical mental health counselor.
In our upcoming blog posts, we will talk more about depression, anxiety, and the link between two of the most common mental health conditions. In the meantime, help us spread the word about National Depression and Anxiety Screening Day and living #StigmaFree