Health screenings – whether for heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure, or cancer – are an accepted part of routine medical care, providing a quick and easy way to spot the first signs of serious illness. While people may not think twice about participating in such programs, many overlook the equally vital mental health screening.
Clinical depression is a common and treatable mood disorder characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest, and hopelessness. Homebound older adults, who are often socially isolated, have higher rates of depression than their more active peers. High rates of depression are also seen in those with illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s because of both the stress of the illness and the neurological impact of the disease. RVNA clinicians are trained to recognize these symptoms in their Home Health and HomeCare clients and can help them seek treatment if necessary.
National Depression Screening Day is Thursday, October 11. The day exists to raise awareness about the importance of mental health intervention and free, anonymous screenings for depression are provided at hospitals, clinics, and community organizations across the country. While people may dismiss depression as a “normal part of life,” it’s more serious than occasional sadness and requires professional intervention. Screenings are an easy first step to getting help.
RVNA encourages all members of the community to take an active role in their mental health. Like screenings for other illnesses, depression screenings should be a routine part of everyone’s healthcare and can help save lives. For more information or to take an online screening, visit mentalhealthscreening.org.