DMH Marks National Depression Screening Day

National Depression Screening Day, part of National Mental Health Awareness Week
October 7, 2010

Got the blues? You are not alone. Depression knows no boundaries. Oct. 7 is National Depression Screening Day and you can learn more about depression or take an anonymous online mental health self assessment at Screening for Mental Health. You will also find additional screenings being held in Massachusetts and nationwide on this website.

The Department of Mental Health and its providers are hosting events across the state in October and November in observance of National Depression Screening Day.

Depression cuts across all lines. In a given year, depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older. But because of stigma and other factors, fewer than half of those with depression actually seek treatment.

"Depression is not a normal part of life," said DMH Commissioner Barbara A. Leadholm, "and we know that treatment works. The very important goal of National Depression Screening Day is to create a non-threatening environment where we can identify symptoms of these illnesses among our citizens, and through appropriate treatment, return them to happier and more productive lives."

Facts about Depression

  • Women are twice as likely to develop clinical depression as men. And as many as one out of every four women is likely to experience an episode of major depression at some point in life.

  • More than 6 million men in the U.S. have at least one episode of major depression each year. Unfortunately, the lingering image of depression as a female condition may keep men who are clinically depressed from recognizing the symptoms of depression and seeking treatment.

  • Older Americans are disproportionately likely to die by suicide. Although they comprise only 12 percent of the U.S. population, people age 65 and older accounted for 16 percent of suicide deaths in 2004.

  • People from different cultures express symptoms of depression in various ways. In addition to changes in their mood, Hispanics tend to experience depression as bodily aches and pains (like stomachaches, backaches or headaches) that persist despite medical treatment.

Upcoming National Depression Screening Day Events

Thursday, October 7, 2010
DMH Northeast-Suburban Area
439 S. Union Street, Lawrence
Lower Level Lobby
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information contact Maureen Holtat at 978-681-9652, extension 250.

DMH Metro-Southeast Area
Plymouth Site Office
40 Industrial Park Rd.
Plymouth, MA
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monday, October 18, 2010
DMH and the Falmouth Police Department will sponsor a suicide prevention forum. Steve Jochim, DMH Cape Cod and Islands Site Director, is one of the presenters.
Falmouth Library
300 Main Street
Falmouth, MA 02540
Phone: 508-457-2555
Toll-Free: 888-439-8850
6 8 p.m.

Wednesday November 3, 2010
DMH Central-West Area
The Bridge of Central Mass
Worcester Public Library
3 Salem Square
Worcester, MA 01608
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information contact Pam Hanam at 508-843-0094.

This information is provided by the Department of Mental Health