Get Screened: National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month
Undiagnosed and untreated mental health conditions can be debilitating for adults and children. October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, which highlights the importance of mental health screenings. There are many things that you may not know about mental health screenings, so read on to find out more!
How Depression and Mental Health Screening Helps
Mental health conditions needing treatment can't always be seen right away and may not have any outward symptoms until they reach a more severe stage. This is why mental health screenings are s oimportant—because if we get screened regularly, we can get potentially life-saving treatment sooner.
For example, depression is more widespread than you may think. It affects men and women of all ages, racial backgrounds and socioeconomic classes. Major Depressive Disorder affects more than 16.1 million American adults in a given year, but only 61 percent of adults with MDD receive treatment. It’s a severe medical illness and can lead to suicide. Depression can also occur along with other diseases and make existing problems worse.
Depression and other mental conditions are not something you can just “shake off” or “power through.” But treatment can help! The first step to getting that help is to get screened.
What to Expect at a Mental Health Screening
Many mental health screenings take less than an hour; you may fill out a questionnaire that asks about your mental state. A mental healthcare professional may ask about your family history. They will also listen for any signs of mental distress like anxiety or depression that could lead to mental illness later on. This will be followed by answering questions from mental health professionals who may ask what type of symptoms you are experiencing, how often the symptoms occur and whether or not the symptoms interfere with your daily life.
These symptoms are common indicators of depression:
● A depressed, anxious or "lifeless" mood that lasts for days or even weeks
● Sleeping less than recommended, being awakened early in the morning or sleeping too much
● Changes in appetite and weight (loss or increase)
● Activities you used to enjoy no longer hold any interest or pleasure for you
● Restlessness or irritability
● Trouble concentrating, remembering or making decisions
● Chronic fatigue or loss of energy
● Thoughts of death or suicide
Mental health conditions are treatable, and the earlier you seek help, the more successful treatments can be. We’d love to help you or a loved one with your screenings.
Should you have a mental health emergency, please call 911, go to your nearest emergency room or call 1-866-837-7521 to be connected to Communicare’s mobile crisis team, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.