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OCTOBER 5, 2017

African American couple sitting back to back on a window sill while having relationship difficulties.

Source: skynesher / Getty

Held annually during Mental Illness Awareness Week in October, National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) is comprised of awareness events that include an optional screening component.

National Depression Screening Day began as an effort to reach individuals across the nation with important mental health education and connect them with support services. Screening for Mental Health (SMH) pioneered National Depression Screening Day as the first, voluntary, mental health screening initiative in 1990.

Twenty-five years later, NDSD has expanded to thousands of colleges, community-based organizations, and military installations providing the program to the public each year.

Take an anonymous screening at http://helpyourselfhelpothers.org/

Facts about Depression

(Provided by Mental Health Screening)

General

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.
  • Depression affects more than 15 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
  • Only about half of Americans diagnosed with major depression in a given year receive treatment for it and one fifth receive treatment aligned with current practice guidelines.
  • Up to 80% of those who receive treatment for depression show an improvement in symptoms, usually within four to six weeks, of beginning treatment.

Youth

  • About 20% of young people will experience depression in their teen years and between 10% to 15% of teens will have symptoms of depression at any given time.
  • About 30% of tends with depression develop problems with substance abuse.
  • Depression in youth can lead to problems at school, running away, low self-esteem, eating disorders, self-injury or disinterest in career or educational opportunities.
  • Three times more female adolescents developed depression than their male counterparts.
  • About 8% of teens suffer with depression for at least a year at a time, compared to the roughly 5% of the general population.
  • On average, 64% of youths with major depression don’t receive mental health treatment. This varies by state from 42% in New Hampshire to 77% in Arkansas.

Men

  • The lifetime rate of depression is 8% in men and 12% in women, but the difference may be due to fewer men seeking help for depression.
  • Men are more likely to seek treatment for the physical symptoms of depression, than the typical symptoms associated with the disorder.
  • Men die by suicide 3.5x more often than women.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 35, although middle aged men have the highest risk of death by suicide.

Veterans

  • Veterans have rate of suicide 50% higher than the rate among other civilians with similar demographic characteristics.
  • About 50% of veterans who need mental health services seek it out, but only a little more than half of those veterans receive adequate care.
  • In 2005, 22% of veterans sought mental health treatment through the private sector rather than from the VA.
  • The Veterans Crisis Line (800-273-8255, Press 1), has had more than 2 million callers since it was established in 2007, with nearly a quarter of those calls — 490,000 — coming in last year.

Find Out More information on Depression and why it is important to test on Mental Health America’s Website 

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