What if you had the chance to help someone feel less alone in the world?  What if you could help r​eframe how the world responds to someone’s silent pain?

National Depression Screening Day (NDSD), scheduled for Oct. 6, 2016, is your opportunity to connect with others, receive resources, and support those impacted by mental health issues by taking a free and quick behavioral health screening online or in person at a number of community events.

According to National Institute of Mental Health, data collected in 2014 reflected that an estimated 43.6 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States identified as living with a mental health diagnosis. This number represented nearly 20 percent of all U.S. adults. NDSD is an opportunity to celebrate and integrate mental health awareness into everyday conversation by offering resources, breaking down stigma and encouraging dialogue about mental health. The stigmas associated with mental health present challenges for individuals who may be in need of help.  Unfortunately, many suffer quietly due to stigma and are often unaware of, or unwilling to access, existing supports, like community events such as NDSD or the free, online behavioral health screenings.

Philadelphia has taken the helm in championing increased access to mental health resources and improving management of mental health diagnoses through initiatives like NDSD and Mental Health First Aid. Since 2012, DBHIDS has proudly partnered with Screening for Mental Health Inc.to provide online and in-person screening support through HealthyMindsPhilly.org. These behavioral health screenings are provided during NDSD to offer insight into symptoms that may or may not be consistent with common mental health diagnoses.  The screenings do not provide a diagnosis, but rather, serve as a preliminary check-in and will alert those who screen positive to consider seeking further resources.  A person then has the opportunity to process the results with a trained professional.

During the city of Philadelphia’s fifth anniversary, DBHIDS will return to our first-ever screening location, SEPTA’s Jefferson Station!  In addition, many of our community partner agencies are holding screening events.  Please check our Healthy Minds Philly National Depression Screening Day page to identify the location for our community partners. You can join the celebration in-person at Jefferson Station or, through visiting one of our community partner screening locations sites. Or, you can take part virtually by taking a screening online at any time and receive a “Check-up from the neck-up!”