National Depression Screening Day is an annual event, held on the first Thursday of every October, that seeks to raise awareness about depression while helping those who are suffering from it. Depression is an increasingly common and severe mental health disorder that affects millions of people around the world. It can cause continuous feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt, and loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.

Depression also interferes with normal daily functioning, such as work, school, social relationships, and physical health. Despite what many people think, depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw, but rather a treatable illness that can be managed with professional support and help.

National Depression Screening Day was founded by the nonprofit organization Screening for Mental Health (SMH) in 1991. The event’s main objective is to encourage people to take a free and anonymous online screening for depression and other related mental disorders, such as:

National Depression Screening Day is a part of Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW). MIAW is a national public education movement led by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and is designed to help reduce the stigma and bias associated with mental illness while promoting the importance of mental health and wellness for everyone. Various events and activities are organized across the country during this week to educate the public about mental health conditions in Southern California and available resources, as well as to celebrate the recovery and resilience of people living with mental illnesses.

What are the signs of depression?

Feeling sad, melancholic, or lethargic from time to time is not depression. Depression is a serious mental health issue which can be identified by the following characteristics:

  • Feeling hopeless, sad, empty, or worthless for a long time. You may also cry excessively or feel guilty about things you have nothing to do with.
  • Losing interest in activities that you previously enjoyed, such as sex, hobbies, or sports.
  • Feelings of isolation and inability to connect with other people.
  • Sleeping troubles (either oversleeping or insomnia).
  • Constantly feeling tired or having too little energy.
  • Appetite and weight changes (overeating or not eating anything at all).
  • Anxiety, restlessness, or agitation.
  • Poor concentration, difficulties with memory, and impaired decision-making.
  • Increased thoughts of death, suicide, or self-harm. **This is an extreme sign of depression and you should seek help immediately if you have such thoughts.

Why is National Depression Screening Day important?

National Depression Screening Day is important in the following ways:

  • It helps people struggling with depression to recognize that they are not alone and that there is hope for recovery.
  • It helps people concerned about their loved ones or friends to learn how to support them and encourage them to seek help.
  • It helps raise awareness and understanding of depression and reduce the negative stereotypes and myths that often surround this condition.
  • It helps people already diagnosed with depression to monitor their condition and seek help if they notice any changes or worsening of their symptoms.
  • It helps promote the importance of mental health for everyone.

What are some ways to observe National Depression Screening Day?

National Depression Screening Day

You can get involved and observe National Depression Screening Day in the following ways:

  • Take a depression screening test online. There are many free, anonymous, and confidential screening tools on the Mental Health America or Screening for Mental Health Screening is not a diagnosis, but rather a way to check your mental health status and obtain a referral if needed.
  • Educate yourself about depression and mental health. Read up on some facts and myths about depression, watch a few videos and podcasts on its history and current state, or take a course or webinar to increase your knowledge and skills.
  • Reach out to someone you know who may be struggling with depression and be in need of depression treatment in Southern California. Offer your support, listen to their experiences, and encourage them to seek help.
  • Contribute to the ongoing fight against depression and stigma. Donate to a mental health organization, volunteer for a crisis line or a peer support group, or advocate for better mental health policies and services within your community. Social media is an excellent tool for spreading awareness and showing camaraderie with people living with depression. Use the hashtags #NDSD, #DepressionScreening, or #BeTheDifference in your posts.

Adler Health in Southern CA Acknowledges National Depression Screening Day

depression screening dayDepression is but one mental health condition out of many that have become increasingly common in recent years. The rising pressures of life and the stress of daily living have brought many people to the point of seeing no way out. Many people feel ashamed to admit that they may have depression or anxiety, as these conditions have been perceived as weakness and not that important.

National Depression Screening Day, since it was established, has worked hard to reduce this stigma surrounding depression as well as mental health conditions as a whole. Adler Health always steps up to participate during MIAW. We recognize that many people just need a little encouragement and support to seek help for recovery from depression and to regain control of their happiness and well-being.

Contact us today to schedule a tour of our facility, find out more about what Adler Health in Southern California can do for you, or speak to our admissions team about enrollment in one of our many treatment programs in Orange County. We will consult with you and create a bespoke treatment plan that addresses all your needs. Let us steer you towards a healthful life.