Today, October 8, is National Depression Screening Day. Dr. Neil Falk, Cascadia’s Program Medical Director is providing a quick introduction to depression.
Clinical depression affects at least 10% of US adults every year (disproportionally affecting women and Black and Latinx Americans), and at least 21% of Americans during their lifetime, however only about 30% of people with clinical depression seek treatment.
Being the leading cause of disability in the US for individuals 15-44 years old, the impact of clinical depression costs the US economy over $210 billion per year and can be deadly, leading to suicide attempts or the neglect of physical health issues. In 2018 alone, suicide led to over 48,000 deaths in the US, which is two and a half times more death than caused by homicide.
What We Can Do
Depression is highly responsive to treatment, with 80% of people showing improvement within four to six weeks. Mental Health America’s (MHA) Depression Screening can provide a quick and easy way for people, especially those who might not otherwise seek professional medical advice, to spot the first signs of depression. It is not a diagnosis, but it can be a helpful tool for starting a conversation with a doctor or loved one.