Let’s Give Mental Health the Same Respect as Physical Health

Mental health is becoming a major public health issue in the United States. Approximately 42.5 million American adults suffer from some mental illness every year, according a recent report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). For those aged 18-25, the rate of mental illness is more than twice as high compared with those aged 50 and older. With one-fifth of the population facing mental health related issues, it’s time to change the way mental health is viewed and treated.

Unlike physical conditions, mental health still cares a stigma that remains one of the largest barriers to treatment. Combined data from the 2008 to 2012 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health show that more than one-third of adults with past year depression (38.3 percent) did not talk to a health or alternative service professional during the previous 12 months (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2014).

National Depression Screening Day
October 9, 2014

National Depression Screening Day®, held on October 9, through the nonprofit, Screening for Mental Health, Inc., serves as a supportive community initiative that raises awareness for depression and provides the public with the opportunity to identify the signs and symptoms of depression, take a free, anonymous mental health screening at www.helpyourselfhelpothers.org and connect with quality local treatment resources.

This year, National Depression Screening Day focuses on viewing and treating mental health with the same gravity as physical health. Hundreds of organizations across the country including community centers, hospitals and colleges are hosting National Depression Screening Day screening events.

Depression screening makes a difference. Results from a 2009 independent research study by the University of Connecticut, commissioned by Screening for Mental Health, states that depression screenings are effective in connecting at-risk individuals with treatment. The study showed that 55% of participants, who completed an online depression screening and who agreed to participate in a follow-up survey, sought depression treatment within three months of the screening.

To learn more about National Depression Screening Day, visit http://mentalhealthscreening.org. To take an online screening, visit www.helpyourselfhelpothers.org.

Screening for Mental Health, Inc. is the pioneer in large-scale mental health screenings for the public and provides innovative mental health and substance abuse resources, linking those in need to quality treatment options.