National Depression Screening Day
National Depression Screening Day (NDSD), held each year during Mental Illness Awareness Week, is designed to call attention to the illnesses of depression, manic-depression, PTSD and anxiety on a national level, to educate the public about their symptoms and effective treatments, to offer individuals the opportunity to be screened for the disorders, and to connect those in need of treatment to the mental health care system.

As part of the screening, registered sites receive a regular, public sector, older adult, or college kit containing the following materials:

o Step-by-step Procedure Manual
o Publicity Guide
o Educational materials (brochures and flyers) for the public
o Multiple copies of the NDSD screening form, which screens for depression, manic-depression, anxiety and PTSD
o Videos
o Posters and ad slicks
o High School SOS Suicide Prevention Program

National Depression Screening Day - the first mental health screening program of its kind, has now amassed the largest database of any mental health research project. The National Institute of Mental Health, a sponsor of the program, has analyzed some 100,000 individual screening forms containing symptomatology, demographic and mental health care treatment history questions.

Recent NDSD data provides invaluable insight into who is and who is not receiving treatment. Consistently, more than 80 percent of the people who score positive for depression are not in treatment at the time of the screening. Nearly 60% had never been in treatment.

The National Institute of Mental Health analysis also has revealed that five symptoms appear more frequently in people who screen positive for depression. The symptoms are psychological in nature and are not symptoms that would generally lead participants to seek professional help. This may be one explanation for the vast discrepancy between depression's prevalence and its rate of treatment.

NDSD follow-up studies are demonstrating that the program is effective in motivating those who screen positive for the illness to seek treatment. Recent data indicates that as many as 65% of those who score positive and are referred for a full evaluation follow through on the recommendation.

Click here to find a Depression Screening Site near you.