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Free National Mental Health Screening Day

Natalie Staats Reiss, Ph.D. is a licensed Psychologist in the state of Ohio (License #6083). She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from ...Read More

Mark your calendars for the 17th annual National Depression Screening Day. On this Thursday October 11, nearly 1,000 sites nationwide (community organizations, primary care providers, colleges and military installations) will offer free, anonymous mental health screenings for depression, suicide risk, bipolar disorder (where people swing between low and high extreme, severe, and sustained energy levels and moods), generalized anxiety disorder (chronic, excessive anxiety and worry that is difficult to control), and post-traumatic stress disorder (intrusive memories and excessive anxiety in the wake of a traumatic event). Mental health professionals will also be available at these sites to speak with individuals regarding the results of their screening or help discuss concerns with the loved ones and friends of people who may be experiencing symptoms (these consultations are also free). Referrals to local mental health professionals will also be available at the sites.

Mental disorders are relatively common conditions; over a third of the people in most countries across the world suffer from symptoms severe enough to cause distress. Mental disorders are also the leading cause of disability in North America and Europe. In terms of prevalence (the number of people in the total population with a specific illness) anxiety disorders (such as generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder) are the most common mental disorder worldwide, followed by mood disorders (such as depression and biploar disorder).

Screening is an important first step to receiving help. Many people suffer needlessly with a range of emotional, behavioral, cognitive (i.e., thinking) and physical symptoms that impair work, family and interpersonal relationships, as well as decreasing overall health and quality of life. Fortunately, we now have a wide array of treatment options available for people dealing with mental disorders and most people can experience significant improvement with time.

Screening tools are not intended to provide someone with a diagnosis; rather, they are designed as a starting point that can help someone identify areas of concern. For example, if you score high on a depression screening tool, you should make an appointment with a mental health clinician for a more detailed and personalized assessment of your symptoms and their causes. This in-depth assessment is then used to develop an individual treatment plan that is appropriate for you.

For more information about National Depression Screening Day, or to locate a site that is offering screening on October 11th visit www.MentalHealthScreening.org. This site also includes an anonymous on-line screening tool.

For more information about mental disorders, please click here to access our relevant topic centers http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=1195&cn=144

 

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