Depression Affects All Walks of Life

Oct 07, 2013, 09:00 ET from Screening for Mental Health

National Depression Screening Day is October 10th

Free, Anonymous Screenings Available at In-Person Events and Online via

BOSTON, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Depression is a common medical condition affecting individuals from all walks of life and all social, economic and ethnic groups. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 19 million adults in the United States are currently living with depression and many more could be suffering, but are unaware the way they are feeling is a treatable condition.


National Depression Screening Day is October 10th and provides members of the general public with the opportunity to determine if they may be experiencing symptoms associated with depression. On this day, more than a thousand community-based organizations, colleges and military installations will provide screenings at in-person events or online. To find an in-person event site or to access an online screening, visit  

"More than 80 percent of people with depression can be effectively treated with simple lifestyle changes, medication, the help of a trained professional or a combination of all three," says Douglas Jacobs, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the founder of Screening for Mental Health. "Members of the public need to be able to recognize if the feelings they are having are associated with depression and to seek treatment if necessary. An easy way to do this is to take a self-assessment at an in-person event or online."

Symptoms of depression can be debilitating and include feelings of intense sadness, irritability, changes in eating and sleeping habits and a loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed. For people who do not know the signs and symptoms of depression, it can be difficult to understand what it means to be depressed. Occasionally having the 'blues' or feeling moments of sadness, loneliness and grief are normal, however, if these feelings last for more than two weeks, it is an indication you may be suffering depression.

Depression screenings are free and anonymous and serve as an effective first step for anyone who may be depressed. While they are not diagnostic, screenings do provide individuals with an indication of whether the way they are feeling could be depression as well as information regarding local treatment options if results indicate someone should seek help.

About Screening for Mental Health
For more than two decades, Screening for Mental Health (SMH) has partnered with organizations to provide mental health education and screening programs, including National Depression Screening Day, National Alcohol Screening Day®, and the National Eating Disorders Screening Program®. These programs are designed to educate, reduce stigma and screen people for alcohol problems and mood and anxiety disorders. Individuals can locate a mental health screening site or take an online screening by visiting

SOURCE Screening for Mental Health