Military Installations Worldwide Encourage Service Members to Get a Mental Health Check-Up
By DCoE Strategic Communications
October 10, 2012
Anonymous self-assessments available online on October 11, National Depression Screening Day, and throughout the year
(Oct. 6, 2012, Wellesley Hills, MA) - Depression affects approximately 17 million people in the U.S., yet almost a third do not seek treatment. While depression is quite common, it is also very treatable, and diagnosing it early allows for faster and easier treatment. Each year, on National Depression Screening Day, Military Pathways, a DoD-funded initiative, offers anonymous, online mental health screenings at www.MilitaryMentalHealth.org. Service members, veterans and their families can access the site 24/7 to see if they have symptoms of depression, PTSD or a related disorder, and get information on how and where to get help. This year, National Depression Screening Day is Thursday, October 11.
"Depression is usually a more serious and sustained problem than simply having a bad day or feeling stressed. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of depression or where to seek help," said Dr. Robert Ciulla, Director of the Mobile Health Program at the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2). "An online screening, in the privacy of one's own home, is a good first step in getting a better understanding of the problem."
Seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. Recognizing and treating depression in its early stages, before a person reaches a crisis situation, are key factors in addressing this important health issue. Symptoms of depression can include:
- Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Decreased energy; feeling tired all the time
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
- Irritability, restlessness
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Thoughts of suicide; suicide attempts
Military installations around the world will recognize National Depression Screening Day with events that encourage screenings, educate service members and promote good mental and physical health. Since 2006, more than 250,000 screenings have been completed online at www.MilitaryMentalHealth.org.
About Military Pathways
Military Pathways gives service personnel and their families the opportunity to learn more about mental health and alcohol use through anonymous self-assessments offered online. The program is designed to help individuals identify symptoms and access assistance before a problem becomes serious. The self-assessments address alcohol use, PTSD, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder and adolescent depression. After completing a self-assessment, individuals receive referral information including TRICARE, Military OneSource and Veterans Affairs. The program is run by the nonprofit Screening for Mental Health, Inc. and is funded by the Department of Defense with support from the Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2health.org).
CONTACT: Christine Leccese
Communications and Marketing Manager
617.285.8926 or 781.591.5223