This Thursday, October 5, is National Depression Screening Day. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about depression, its prevalence, and the importance of early screening and intervention. Major depression is one of the most common mental illnesses , affecting more than 21 million American adults each year. National Depression Screening Day is dedicated to helping the 8.4% of adults who experience a major depressive episode each year. The prevalence of depression Depression is a widespread mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability globally . Depression can occur throughout the life span and can touch individuals of all genders and of all races. Yet only about one-third of people experiencing depression will seek mental health help. Why National Depression Screening Day? National Depression Screening Day was established to combat the stigma associated with mental health issues and to encourage individuals to seek help when they are struggling. It is just as important to screen for depression as it is to screen for other physical health concerns. Though a depression screening is not a professional evaluation, it can help people spot early signs and help them seek treatment sooner. Here are some key reasons why this day is crucial: Stigma reduction and promoting awareness: There is still a significant stigma surrounding mental health disorders, including depression. This stigma can discourage individuals from seeking help and support. National Depression Screening Day aims to reduce this stigma by fostering open conversations about depression and mental health. Early detection: Depression can be insidious, with symptoms often going unnoticed or dismissed. Early detection through screening can significantly improve outcomes. Education: National Depression Screening Day provides an opportunity to educate the public about depression, its symptoms, and available treatments. Knowledge is a powerful tool in promoting mental health awareness and reducing misconceptions. Resources for individuals and professionals Anonymous online screenings for depression are offered by Mental Health America and MindWise Innovations . These assessments can help individuals gauge their risk and provide guidance on seeking professional help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline can help guide individuals to find treatment. For professionals, PAR offers a variety of products to help assess individuals for depression. Learn more about our assessment tools . A focus on mental health National Depression Screening Day serves as a reminder that mental health is an integral part of our overall wellbeing. Depression is a common and treatable condition, but it often goes unrecognized or untreated. By dedicating a day to depression awareness and screening, we can reduce stigma, encourage early detection, and provide vital resources to those in need. On October 5, take a moment to spread the message of hope, support, and understanding in the fight against depression. Together, we can make a positive impact on the mental health of individuals and our communities.