Today, like any day, you may peruse online, send a few tweets or Facebook posts, give or get advice from a family member or friend, grab coffee or lunch, or run into your local grocery store to pick up the essentials on your way home. We all have our daily routines, a rhythm to things that keep us moving through our hectic schedules.
But what if you could do something that could make a big difference for yourself and those you care about, all without missing a beat?
Today is National Depression Screening Day (NDSD), a day to educate, raise awareness and connect Philadelphians – and people nationwide –with mental health screenings.
So many of us feel comfortable talking to a doctor, a friend or going online to learn about a physical health issue but we often spend far less time ensuring that we’re keeping up with our mental wellness.
The recent death of actor Robin Williams by suicide highlights the importance of getting help for depression and other mental health conditions.
One in four adults — or approximately 61.5 million Americans — will experience a mental health disorder in a given year. While many people get the help they need, too many suffer in silence and go without help for issues that have very effective treatments, often because they may not be aware that they have a treatable mental health condition.
Today you can help change that.
NDSD is more than a commemorative day; it’s about elevating awareness, educating the community and promoting understanding of mental health conditions. It’s about breaking down barriers of silence and stigma and bringing mental health into the conversation about our everyday health.
Philadelphia has taken a leading role to ensure mental health screenings are convenient and accessible. We are dedicated to going out to where the people are: online, on social media, in the grocery store, in the library and out in the community.
We are dedicated to continuing to create a comprehensive approach to mental health awareness in Philadelphia. Our city is spearheading a public health approach to this issue like no other. Philadelphia was the first major city in the U.S. to do a large-scale implementation of Mental Health First Aid, to launch the first-ever behavioral health screening kiosk in a retail setting, to create a city-specific online resource for everyone’s use, or to bring together leading legislators, dozens of local organizations and hundreds of community members for a #IWillListenDay public awareness event as we did in Love Park.
As part of the community effort to increase awareness about mental health, we encourage you to join us on NDSD. It only takes a few minutes to take the screening, to tell your friends, families, or colleague about it, to join us at one of the many community events, such as that at Municipal Services Building Plaza across from Love Park or at the Central Library on October 9th, or share the online screening information through your social media.
In all that we do in a day, this one thing may make the biggest impact on you and perhaps the lives of others.