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Health Tips from the Mayor: October is National Depression Awareness Month

Posted: October 20, 2014

October is National Depression Awareness Month. Take a free and anonymous online screening for depression at HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org. Remember, your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depression affects 1 in 10 people. Young adults have consistently shown higher rates of depression and anxiety than any other age group, according to Screening for Mental Health’s online screening data for the past five years.

This data is consistent with a recent report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), which states that one in five 18 to 25 year olds has experienced a mental illness and over 66 percent did not receive treatment. These reports highlight the need for young adults to recognize the symptoms of depression and anxiety in themselves and others and to seek treatment.

Like many physical illnesses, the earlier depression treatment can begin, the more effective it is likely to be. If left untreated, suicide can be a fatal response to this mental health disorder, particularly for young adults. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 25 to 34 and the third leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.

Depression Symptoms & Warning Signs