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If you are worried that you or someone you love may be suffering from depression, Palmetto Health encourages you to participate in National Depression Screening Day, Thursday, Oct. 6. In support of the event, Palmetto Health Behavioral Care encourages you to take part in their free, anonymous depression screenings online at MentalHealthScreening.org/Screening/Palmetto. National Depression Screening Day, held in October as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week, is a program sponsored by the nonprofit organization Screening for Mental Health, Inc.
The mental health screening data collected by Screening for Mental Health, Inc. shows an increase in the number of Americans reporting symptoms of depression and other mood and anxiety disorders over the last five years. “Depression affects every aspect of a person’s life as well as the lives of their loved ones. It can be debilitating emotionally as well as physically,” said Michael Hedgecock, director of the Palmetto Health Behavioral Care Assessment Center. “It’s important to learn to recognize symptoms of depression and other mental illnesses. Screening helps. Palmetto Health Behavioral Care provides an opportunity for people to assess their emotional wellbeing in the privacy of their own home.”
Recent statistics for online screening participants are encouraging. A study by the University of Connecticut followed up with 2008 National Depression Screening Day online participants and found that more than half sought depression treatment in the three months following their initial screening.
As part of the online screening program for Palmetto Health Behavioral Care, participants will answer a series of questions about their moods. Questions may include:
•Have you lost pleasure in things you used to enjoy?
•Do you have trouble sleeping or eating?
•Does your mood fluctuate from overly “high” to sad and hopeless?
•Are you keyed up and anxious all the time?
•Do you suffer from unexplained aches and pains?
After completing a self-assessment, participants receive immediate feedback, as well as referral information on how to access local treatment resources, plus links to related articles and resources.
For more information about the screenings or to speak to an assessment counselor, call the Palmetto Health Behavioral Care Assessment Center at 803-434-4813 or 1-888-724-7888.