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  • Writer's pictureDesert Bloom Counseling

Recognizing National Depression & Mental Health Screening Month: A Call to Action

October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, a time when mental health professionals and communities unite to raise awareness and combat mental illness. By working collectively, we can underscore the importance of mental health screenings and reduce the stigma associated with mental health disorders.

Identifying Symptoms of Depression

Depression manifests in various ways, and recognizing its symptoms is the first step towards seeking help. If you or a loved one has been experiencing one or more of the following symptoms nearly every day for at least two weeks, it may indicate depression:

- Persistent sadness or anxiety

- Feelings of hopelessness

- Irritability

- Loss of interest in hobbies

- Decreased energy or fatigue

- Increasing isolation

- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions

- Sleep disturbances

- Loss of appetite

- Thoughts of death or suicide

What Mental Health Professionals Are Doing

Depression often intensifies during the holiday season. That's why October has been designated as the awareness month, providing ample time for individuals to seek help before the holiday season begins.

During this month, many clinicians, hospitals, and mental health facilities reduce or even waive the fees for mental health screenings. This initiative makes it easier for individuals who suspect they may be suffering from depression to receive an affordable and accurate diagnosis.

How Can You Contribute?

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of depression, it's crucial to get screened. Following your screening, a qualified practitioner will discuss a treatment plan with you, which may include talk therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

If you have recovered from depression and feel comfortable sharing your journey, your story can offer hope and encouragement to others grappling with their own struggles. Knowing that someone has navigated through the darkness and emerged into the light can be a powerful source of inspiration.

If you or a loved one is interested in speaking with a trained therapist, please reach out. I would be more than happy to discuss how I might be able to help. National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month is a time for us to come together, raise awareness, and take action. By doing so, we can make a significant difference in the lives of those affected by depression.

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