Today is National Depression Screening Day

WHAT: National Depression Screening Day (NDSD), held annually on the Thursday of the first full week in October, is dedicated to raising awareness and screening people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. NDSD is the nation’s oldest voluntary, community-based screening program that gives access to validated screening questionnaires and provides referral information for treatment.

WHERE: Individuals can locate a mental health screening site or take an online screening by visiting www.HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org.

HOW: Thousands of organizations nationwide register to host a NDSD event each year. The organizations, including hospitals, community centers, social service agencies, government organizations, older adult facilities, colleges, secondary schools and military installations, provide information about mood and anxiety disorders and offer screenings—in-person or online—to their community. After completing a screening, those who score positive receive referral information to local agencies that offer further evaluation and treatment if needed.

WHY: Depression screening is effective. 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.

Lisa Leedepression