BOSTON, Oct. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In commemoration of its 25th Annual National Depression Screening Day, Screening for Mental Health (SMH) sends out a call to action offering free, brief and anonymous mental health screenings at www.helpyourselfhelpothers.org. Organizations across the country, including community centers, hospitals, and colleges, are hosting National Depression Screening Day events. To find an event near you, visit www.helpyourselfhelpothers.org.
SMH will also issue a 25-Day Wellness Challenge beginning October 8 encouraging individuals to change how they think about their mental health by engaging in daily actions to relieve stress, boost mindfulness, foster healthy behaviors and reduce the stigma around mental health. The challenge will be hosted on SMH's Facebook and Twitter accounts. To learn more about the challenge, visit: https://mentalhealthscreening.org/assets/img/NDSD/challenge.pdf.
The World Health Organization predicts that depression will become the second-leading contributor to the global burden of disease by 2020, behind heart disease. Like many physical illnesses, early recognition and treatment offers the best opportunity for recovery from mental illness. If left untreated, suicide can be a fatal response to depression.
- More than 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression
- According to the CDC Report, the suicide rate increased for the 8th straight year in 2011 to 12.7/100,000
- Mental illness is a global problem affecting nearly 1 in 10 citizens, yet only 1% of the global health workforce is dedicated to mental health
"Eradicating the stigma surrounding mental illness is paramount in diagnosis and recovery," said Douglas Jacobs, M.D., founder and medical director, Screening for Mental Health, Inc. "In order to be recognized as the public health issue that it is, depression needs to garner the same attention as physical health. National Depression Screening Day has played a key role in raising awareness for 25 years, and we'd like to use this milestone to reinforce that checking in on your mental health is as important as checking in on your physical health."
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
About National Screening for Depression Day - 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.
About Screening for Mental Health - Screening for Mental Health, Inc. (SMH), the pioneer of large-scale mental health screening for the public, provides innovative mental health and substance use resources, linking those in need with quality treatment options. SMH programs, offered online and in-person, educate, raise awareness, and screen individuals for common mental health disorders and suicide. For more information about Screening for Mental Health, visit http://mentalhealthscreening.org/.
SOURCE Screening for Mental Health