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National Depression Screening Day is October 9

Here’s what you need to know about National Depression Screening Day, and what you can do to get involved.

A jumble of calendar dates: what ADHD feels like depends on the day
A jumble of calendar dates: what ADHD feels like depends on the day

October is more than just ADHD Awareness Month! The first full week of the month has been officially classified by Congress as Mental Illness Awareness Week and October 9, 2014, is National Depression Screening Day (NDSD).

Started in 1991, NDSD comprises awareness events across the country and free depression screenings, both online and in-person. All kinds of organizations – from corporations, to colleges, to nursing homes – can volunteer to host NDSD events, which offer confidential screenings, as well as referrals and treatment information. Individuals can locate a mental health screening site or take an online screening by visiting HelpYourselfHelpOthers.org.

Seven percent of the adult population experiences at least one depressive episode per year. Young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 are most at risk – up to 1 in 5 have experienced some form of mental illness, and 66 percent do not receive treatment. Depression is estimated to be 2.7 times more prevalent among adults with ADHD than it is in the general population.

Unfortunately, the low treatment rate is likely tied to the enduring stigma surrounding mental health issues in the United States. But studies have shown that, among depressed adults who sought treatment, 80 percent saw improvement within the first 4 to 6 weeks.

Want to get involved with NDSD? Click here for a free toolkit, which includes downloadable Facebook banners, sample tweets with the #NDSD hashtag, and helpful infographics to share with friends, family, coworkers – or anyone at all!

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