Sunday, July 14, 2024

Mental Health America Depression Screening

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Morning Rounds: Depression screening
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How Accurate Is It

This quiz is NOT a diagnostic tool. Mental health disorders can only be diagnosed by a licensed mental health provider or doctor.

Psycom believes assessments can be a valuable first step toward getting treatment. All too often people stop short of seeking help out of fear their concerns arent legitimate or severe enough to warrant professional intervention.

Population Health Through Screening

We serve 1 million users a year and these individuals provide insight on how we can continue to support our communities. Since the launch of screening, over 5 million people have completed an online screen, averaging about 3,000 screens a day.

Our goal is to use screening data to rapidly analyze and disseminate information to help fill unmet needs and gaps in care for our communities.

We are analyzing data based on correlations between screens and results, demographic questions, special populations , geography, special needs , and access to care.

Lessons from Covid-19 and Race Equity

Since January 2020, MHA has seen an increase in number of mental health screens and severity of results that mirror the growing concerns from both the COVID-19 pandemic and race based trauma.

In an effort to build collaboration on real time data, MHA is working to publish monthly analyses of our data as it relates to COVID-19 and race.

If you are a researcher and are interested in working with us, please email Maddy Reinert at and Theresa Nguyen at

Lessons from 5 Million Screens

Among MHA screeners, the most common screening taken is for depression, but anxiety screenings have increased dramatically in 2020.

In recent years, as more tools were offered, people screened more widely for other conditions. In 2019, for example, depression screeners represented 36 percent of all screens taken, followed by anxiety at 18 percent, bipolar at 15 percent, and psychosis at 14 percent.

Current Projects

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National Alliance On Mental Illness

While the National Alliance on Mental Illness is best known for its advocacy work, it has also produced a large amount of information on mental health conditions, including signs and symptoms, treatment options, up-to-date statistics, and advanced research.

NAMI works on many initiatives and programs to provide intervention, treatment, and financial support by working with government entities to ensure that mental health is included in healthcare policies.

The organization addresses various aspects of public policy with the goal of improving the lives of those affected by mental health issues. They are working to improve policies, from making early intervention possible to reducing the number of people jailed with psychiatric conditions.

What Is The #1 Cause Of Depression

Mental Health Association in Orange County, Inc.

The number one cause of depression is the tough stuff, the major life events that go wrong, says Steven Hollon, PhD, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University. Depression can occur when people experience adverse life events such as the death of someone close, the loss of a job, or some type of psychological trauma. Depression can lead to more stress and dysfunction, which can worsen the depression itself.

There also is a connection between depression and physical health. For instance, cardiovascular disease can lead to depression .4,5

Thankfully, there are effective treatments for depression. We know that depression is a very treatable condition and that over 80 percent of people who receive appropriate treatment for their depression will improve significantly, says Rudy Nydegger, PhD, Professor Emeritus of psychology and management at Union College and chief in the Division of Psychology at Ellis Hospital, both in Schenectady, New York. Unfortunately, the large majority of people with depression never get appropriate treatment.

  • American Psychiatric Association. What is depression? Page Last Reviewed October 2020. Accessed July 9, 2021.
  • National Institute of Mental Health. Depression: What is depression? Page Last Revised in 2021. Accessed July 9, 2021.
  • American Psychiatric Association. DSM 5 Frequently Asked Questions. Accessed July 9, 2021.
  • National Institute of Mental Health. Major depression. Revised 2021. Accessed July 9, 2021.
  • Recommended Reading: Anxiety And Depression Medication List

    Hamilton Rating Scale For Depression

    The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression is a multiple item questionnaire used to identify depression and to evaluate recovery. Its designed for adults and is used to rate the severity of a persons depression by evaluating their mood, feelings of guilt, suicidal ideation, anxiety, insomnia, weight loss, and somatic symptoms.

    Hamilton Depression Rating Scale

    The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, abbreviated HDRS, HRSD or HAM-D, measures depression in individuals before, during and after treatment. The scale is administered by a health care professionals and contains 21 items, but is scored based on the first 17 items, which are measured either on 5-point or 3-point scales. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete and score.

    Hamilton, M. . A rating scale for depression. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 23, 56-61.

    Trajkovi, G., Starevi, V., Latas, M., Letarevi, M., Ille, T., Bukumiri, Z., & Marinkovi, J. . Reliability of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression: A meta-analysis over a period of 49 years. Psychiatry Research, 189, 1-9.

    More Information

    • is in the public domain and no permission is required for use.

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    Depression And Bipolar Support Alliance

    The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance takes an integrated approach to wellness. It offers support and education for those with mood disorders and has more than 600 support groups and 200 chapters. The peer-based, wellness-oriented support services are available 24/7 online.

    Some of the most useful tools are the DBSA Wellness Wheel and Wellness Tracker, which focuses on nutrition, substance use, medications and symptoms, mood, and more. They also have an Ask The Doc clinical panel, DBSA podcast, informational newsletter, brochures, and videos.

    If youre a parent of a child who has mood disorders, you can join the support community, Balanced Mind Parent Network , to discuss treatment options and gain support from other parents who are sharing similar experiences.

    Take A Mental Health Test

    Penn State Study Finds That Mental Health Screening Can Help Identify Depression In Students.

    Online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.

    Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, are real, common and treatable. And recovery is possible.

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    Staying Informed: How To Find Mental Health Screenings Available To You

    Approximately one in five adults in the United States experience mental illness in a given year, serious mental illness costs the U.S. $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year and mood disorders, including major depression, persistent depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18-44 years of age. The stigma surrounding mental illness is vast, and as a result, the majority of individuals who are battling a mental health disorder do not seek professional help. Depending on the mental health disorder, the combination of medications and psychotherapy are the mainstay treatments for mental health disorders however before treatment is initiated, a diagnosis must be made, which means an individual must visit a physician or mental health professional. However, there are plenty of mental health screenings tools and resources online that you can use in the privacy of your own home. These tools can not only help give you insight on whether you may be struggling with a mental health disorder, but they can also provide you information on how to receive the help you may need. These mental health-screening tests are validated only for adults.

    Who Is This Depression Quiz For

    Below is a list of 10 questions designed to help you determine if you might be experiencing depression. The questions relate to life experiences common among people who have depression. Please read each question carefully, and indicate how often you have experienced the same or similar challenges in the past few weeks.

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    Can You Inherit Depression

    Genetic factors do play a role in depression, but so do biological, environmental, and psychological factors.2 Unipolar depression is less likely to be inherited than Bipolar disorder , says Steven Hollon, PhD, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University.

    While depression does tend to run in families, just because a family member has depression does not mean you are going to get it, says Rudy Nydegger, PhD, Professor Emeritus of psychology and management at Union College and chief in the Division of Psychology at Ellis Hospital, both in Schenectady, New York. It is not a simple gene thing, he says. And the important thing is not so much why a person has depression but what are we going to do to help them.

    Learn More About Depression

    Mental Health America Data Shows Impacts of COVID

    Depression can make you feel alone but you have lots of company. Major depressive disorder , the clinical term for depression, is one of the most common mental health conditions, affecting an estimated 350 million people in all age groups. You should know that depression isnt the same as being sad. Its normal to feel blue or unmotivated from time to time, but depression is more constant. And, it has a real, biological basis.

    Your privacy is important to us. All results are completely anonymous.

    The above quiz is based on the Patient Health Questionnaire . If you think you may be suffering from Depression and/or you are experiencing a mental health crisis, we strongly suggest that you reach out to to a qualified mental health professional. To aid in your search please consider our directory of emergency mental health resources.

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    What Else Could It Be

    Some things can make it seem like you have depression, when really something else is going on. For example:

    • Using drugs or medications that make you feel low. If a medication is making you feel depressed, you should talk to your doctor about it. If you are taking drugs or drinking lots of alcohol, they may be causing symptoms of depressionor you may be trying to self-medicate for depression or another mental illness.
    • Medical problems like chronic pain or thyroid problems. Sometimes treating an underlying medical problem can make the depression go away or become less severe.
    • Grief. If youve lost a loved one or are upset about a big change in your life, you can feel extremely sad for a while. If it doesnt get better after a long time , it can turn into full-blown depression.

    How Many People Are Diagnosed With Depression

    Around 17.3 million US adults have had at least one major depressive episode.2 Some 20% of women and between 10 and 12% of men will experience depression at least once in their life, says says Steven Hollon, PhD, of Brentwood, Tennessee, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University.

    Depression is relatively rare during childhood and comparably distributed across the genders, Hollon adds. The rates just explode during adolescence and that is when gender disparities first emerge. And, he adds, Half of all the folks who are going to be diagnosed with major depression at some point will have at least one episode during adolescence.

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    Screening Timing And Frequency

    When defining the postpartum period, this was often considered to be up to 1 year postpartum . The majority of publications made recommendations across the perinatal period however, some publications aimed to provide guidance postnatally specifically. For example, publications with a focus on postpartum depression screening, interpregnancy care or perinatal care in paediatric practice were identified . Due to their focus on the postnatal period, it was not unexpected that the depression screening recommendations within such publications were often specific to the postnatal period.

    The recommendations relating to screening intervals ranged from as early as practical , or at first contact to 32 weeks or in the third trimester antenatally and 4 weeks to up to 6 months postnatally . Some publications did not make specific recommendations for frequency and timing, and there was recognition among included publications that findings have not been consistent in regard to this issue .

    Why Screen For Depression

    It Takes One to Know One: Understanding Anxiety, Depression, and Anger in Men
    • Clinical depression is a serious medical illness.
    • Clinical depression can lead to suicide.
    • Sometimes people with depression mistakenly believe that the symptoms of depression are a “normal part of life.”
    • Clinical depression affects men and women of all ages, races and socioeconomic groups.
    • Only about a third of those suffering from severe depression seek treatment from a mental health professional.
    • Depression can co-occur and complicate other medical conditions.
    • Screenings are often the first step in getting help.

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    Screening For Depression: How Depression Tests Work

    There isnt a single depression test or screening that determines if someone is clinically depressed. Unlike lab tests that diagnose some illnesses, a depression test is just one tool that a professional might use when screening for and diagnosing a mental health condition like depression.

    Depression tests are often in the form of a questionnaire. A physician or mental health professional may ask the questions orally or an individual may be asked to read and answer the questions on paper or on a digital device.

    The answers alone aren’t enough to determine if someone has depression because a test won’t account for other possible reasons for an individual’s answers.

    For example, someone experiencing acute pain may report difficulty sleeping and poor appetitebut those symptoms may be caused by pain rather than depression. A clinician would need to take their physical health condition into account after reviewing the test results.

    Similarly, a treatment provider would also need to take someone’s environment into account. Someone may report difficulty sleeping not because he’s depressed, but because he has a loud neighbor who keeps him up at night.

    Be aware that depression tests don’t allow for explanations. They usually ask someone to report how often certain symptoms occur during a defined time period. A treatment provider would need to probe further to gain suficient information about an individual’s symptoms.

    Anxiety And Depression Association Of America

    If you want to find a therapist to help treat your depression, this is a great place to start. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America is not a direct service organization, but it does maintain a large directory of mental health professionals, organized by location and speciality.

    It also provides quality, current, research-driven information on depression in the form of books, brochures, blogs, and webinars.

    ADAA is a multidisciplinary professional organization that supports mental health professionals who work on anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and co-occurring disorders. It hosts an annual conference, as well as various industry events, and provides training, clinical fellow opportunities, peer consultations, and more to professionals.

    The organizations goal is to improve patient care, build best practices, and implement evidence-based treatments through scientific innovation. When you support ADAA, you support the many professionals who are working on the ground to help address depression disorders.

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    In 2021 Over 54 Million People Took A Mental Health Screen Representing A Nearly 500% Increase Over The Number Of People Who Completed A Screening In 2019 And A 103% Increase Over 2020

    The following findings emerged from analysis of the over 4.1 million people who took a mental health screen in the United States from January-December 2021.

    2021 Screening Demographics

    In total, 4,155,728 people from the United States took a screen through MHA Screening in 2021. Of them, the majority took a depression screen , followed by the anxiety screen , and the bipolar screen .

    The percentage of individuals who took a depression screen decreased slightly from 2020-2021, while the percentage of individuals who took an anxiety screen remained the same. Individuals were more likely to take eating disorder, PTSD, youth, alcohol or substance use, parent, and postpartum depression screens in 2021 compared to 2020.


    Who Should Get Screened

    Online Depression Screening: Data and Statistics

    People suffering from depression often experience some of these key symptoms:

    • A persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
    • Sleeping too little, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much
    • Reduced appetite and weight loss, or increased appetite and weight gain
    • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
    • Restlessness or irritability
    • Difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions
    • Fatigue or loss of energy
    • Thoughts of death or suicide

    Screenings are not a professional diagnosis. Screenings point out the presence or absence of depressive symptoms and provide a referral for further evaluation if needed. You should see your doctor or a qualified mental health professional if you experience five or more of these symptoms for longer than two weeks or if the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily routine.

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