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National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month

October is filled with a focus on mental health education and depression awareness.

National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month- This observance works to bring awareness to the need for depression awareness and the need for accessible and affordable mental health screenings. A number of different factors can often come into play with depression that can include a mix of environmental, genetic, psychological, and biological /biochemical components. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way, but it can affect anyone at any time. So, it is important to take that next step and seek out professional help and be screened if you or someone you care about feels they may be depressed. Depression is a highly treatable condition with many different options available, but a professional should be sought out to help determine the best course of action for every individual that is suffering from it. An estimated 40 million adults in the United States suffer from anxiety or depression. The intent of National Depression Screening Day is to bring help and hope to those who suffer from depression.

Depression Awareness Month helps to increase the general population’s knowledge and understanding of depression and some other mental health conditions. During the month, different organizations host live and online events, use social media tags, and promote awareness.

Depression is a common mental health concern in America and throughout the world. Far more than just “feeling sad,” depression negatively impacts how a person feels, thinks, and acts. It can cause disruption to school, work, and personal interests.

Misconceptions and misunderstandings of depression contribute to continuing stigmas about people living with the condition, the reasons it occurs, and their willingness to seek care.

In a 2018 studyTrusted Source, researchers conducted a survey to assess the public’s knowledge of depression and the severity of the stigma surrounding it. Key findings included:

  • 30% reported believing a “weak personality” causes depression
  • 58.9% reported believing that pharmaceutical interventions or medications are not an effective treatment
  • Over 70% reported understanding the importance of rest and that a person may appear happier than they actually are when living with depression

They recommend that educational interventions or campaigns may help decrease stigma and improve understanding of treatment compared to general health knowledge.

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