Thursday, October 8, 2015

Levin Calls for Increased Access to Services on NDSD’s 25th Anniversary

In a blog post today, APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., marked the 25th anniversary of National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) by calling for increased efforts to connect people with mental illness to the treatment they need.

National Depression Screening Day is an education and screening event conducted by hospitals, clinics, colleges, and community groups nationwide. The program provides free, anonymous screenings for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder, as well as referral to treatment resources if warranted. According to the NDSD website, screenings are held both online and in-person and thousands of people participate each year.

“Even though most of us know someone who has experienced a mental health concern, the stigma associated with seeking mental health care is still a major barrier to treatment,” Levin wrote. “If the goal is to live in a world where mental health issues are viewed and treated with the same gravity as physical ailments, we will all need to work together to combat stigma and other barriers to treatment. That is why events like NDSD are so important, not just for raising awareness of this serious issue, but also because they help facilitate better access to treatment for those among us who need it most.”

Levin added, “Of course, creating awareness for mental health issues is not enough on its own. Community mental health programs need the support of national public health groups if true progress is to be made to ensure people with serious mental illness receive the help they sorely need.”

NDSD’s website features a free, anonymous screening tool and facts about symptoms of depression and other disorders, as well as facts about the connection between general medical and mental illness.

For more information on how to recognize symptoms of mental illness, as well as when and where to seek care, see Understanding Mental Disorders Your Guide to DSM-5.

(Image: David Hathcox)


The content of Psychiatric News does not necessarily reflect the views of APA or the editors. Unless so stated, neither Psychiatric News nor APA guarantees, warrants, or endorses information or advertising in this newspaper. Clinical opinions are not peer reviewed and thus should be independently verified.