October 6th has been designated as National Depression Screening day, an annual event held during Mental Illness Awareness Week. This event was started 26 years ago as an effort to provide people with mental health education materials and give them resources for support services. National Depression Screening Day was also created with the hope of removing the stigma from mental illness.
The World Health Organization estimates that 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The organization states that early recognition and treatment of the disease offer the best opportunity for successful outcomes. If depression is left untreated it can lead to destructive behaviors and possibly suicide.
In an effort to raise awareness, Jamaica Hospital Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry observed National Depression Screening Day by providing free depression screenings to the community. The community outreach initiative took place in the hospital’s Ambulatory Care building where members of the department educated guests about symptoms of depression and when to seek help. The group reminded everyone that mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and they should not delay getting help for that reason.
Depression screenings help to distinguish between short term feelings of sadness and stress due to transient life episodes, and more severe cases that can go on for months and years. The tests usually last between two to five minutes and the scores will indicate whether a further evaluation by a mental health professional is needed. It is important for people to know that help is available.
To schedule an appointment with the Mental Health Department of Jamaica Hospital, please call 718-206-7160.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.