National Depression Screening Day

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Today is National Depression Screening Day. This is the 25th anniversary of this yearly event, created by Screening for Mental Health (SMH), an organization founded by Dr. Douglas Jacobs. The organization hopes to create a world where mental health is viewed and treated with the same gravity as physical health, and depression screening helps make that vision a reality.

Facts about depression (from SMH):

– Up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms generally within four to six weeks of beginning treatment (NIH)

– Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression (WHO)

– In the US, an estimated one in ten adults report depression (CDC)

– Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the US for ages 15 to 44 (WHO)

– One third of individuals with a chronic illness experience symptoms of depression

– People with depression are four times as likely to develop a heart attack than those without depression

– Many conditions may co-exist with depression – depression may increase the risk for another illness, and dealing with an illness may lead to depression

To get screened:

HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org is an example of a mental health screening site
– It provides, among other features, links to screening locations and resources in various states

Be prepared:

– Learn what to do when someone threatens suicide
– To get prepared, visit StopASuicide.org
– If someone is in danger, call 9-1-1
– Know the suicide prevention hotline: 800-273-TALK (8255)
– Individuals can call for advice for themselves or for a friend

 

Donna Vanderpool, MBA, JD – Vice President   As Vice President of Risk Management, Ms. Vanderpool is responsible for the development and implementation of PRMS’s risk management services for The Psychiatrists’ Program. Ms. Vanderpool has developed expertise in the areas of HIPAA and forensic practice, and has consulted, written and spoken nationally on these and other healthcare law and risk management topics. She most recently wrote a chapter concerning the risks of harm to forensic experts for Robert L. Sadoff, MD’s book Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychiatry: Minimizing Harm, (Feb. 2011/Wiley). Ms. Vanderpool received her undergraduate degree from James Madison University, and her MBA and JD from George Mason University. Prior to joining PRMS in 2000, Ms. Vanderpool practiced criminal defense law, taught business and legal courses as an adjunct faculty member at a community college and spent eight years managing a general surgical practice in Virginia. Follow Donna on LinkedIn.

This blog has also been cross-posted on LinkedIn.

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