October is National Depression Awareness Month. Across the nation, organizations including the Army will educate and promote awareness about depression, its symptoms and how to get help.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1 in 10 adults in the U.S. report depression. Symptoms of depression include sad mood, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, poor concentration, change in appetite/weight, and persistent thoughts of suicide.
This year, the Army's theme is "Depression is Treatable - Get Screened - Seek Care." Fort Detrick kicked off awareness activities at Odom Fitness Center for "Comprehensive Wellness Day" Sept. 27. Members of all of the helping services on post came together to provide education materials and screen both military and civilian personnel for depressive disorders. Over 200 Service members and civilians were screened for depression, which culminated in referrals to Barquist Behavioral Health Services, the EmployeeAssistance Program, the local Department of Veterans Affairs facility and community mental health resources.
Depression is a highly treatable condition, and seeking help is a sign of strength. Take the time to get screened. The Department of Defense and VA offer anonymous behavioral-health assessments online at www.militarymentalhealth.org and www.mentalhealth .va.gov/depression.asp.