October 9, 2014

mental-health-awareness-day-massachusetts-behavioral-health-depression-nursing-skilled-private-duty-home-health-careAs part of Epic Health Services’ commitment to our patients receiving mental health services, today we are participating in National Depression Screening Day (NDSD).

Commemorated yearly on Oct. 9, NDSD is a voluntary health initiative to reach people across the country with important mental health education and connect them with support services.

If you suspect that you or someone you love is suffering from mental illness, education and early recognition are crucial. Approximately 80 percent of people suffering from depression will respond to some combination of treatment, usually psychotherapy and medication.

There are also free, anonymous, online screenings available for people to take that will help identify if they are exhibiting the signs and symptoms of a common mental health disorder. These can be taken from the comfort of a person’s own home, and they can receive their results immediately.

According to the Mayo Clinic, common warning signs and symptoms of a mental health disorder may include:

  • Feeling sad or down
  • Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
  • Excessive fears or worries, extreme feelings of guilt
  • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia, hallucinations
  • Inability to cope with daily problems and issues
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Major changes in eating habits
  • Sex drive changes
  • Excessive anger, hostility or violence
  • Suicidal thinking

Often times, signs and symptoms of mental illness can manifest as physical problems such as back pain, headaches, stomach pain or other unexplained aches and pains.

Mental health screenings and access to effective treatment are important because people with mental illness can and do recover.

Early intervention has shown effective in reducing the progression and severity of the disease process and leads to faster recoveries and save more lives.

NDSD was created to increase awareness for mental health and help reduce the stigma associated with someone seeking help for symptoms of mental illness.

If you, your loved one or someone you know is showing signs of mental illness, this is an opportunity to have an open and honest discussion with them or your physician regarding your concerns. You may not be able to force someone into seeking treatment or help, but you can be there to offer encouragement and support.

To learn more about our behavioral health nursing services offered in Massachusetts, visit our website.