October 5, 2023

Contact: Lynette Maselli

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West Virginians for Affordable Health Care Highlights Mental Illness Awareness Week on National Depression Screening Day


(CHARLESTON, WV) – West Virginians for Affordable Health Care (WVAHC) announced today it is highlighting National Mental Illness Awareness Week on National Depression Screening Day.


“Like screenings for other illnesses, depression screenings should be a routine part of healthcare,” said Ellen Allen, executive director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care. “Whether for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes or depression, health screenings provide a quick and easy way to spot the first signs of serious illness and can reach people who might not otherwise seek professional medical advice.”


The first week in October is Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW), an annual national public education campaign led by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), designed to help raise the awareness of mental illness. This awareness week also coincides with National Depression Screening Day.


“Depression is more than just feeling down or having a bad day and can interfere with normal, everyday functioning,” said Allen. “Anyone can get depressed, and depression can happen at any age and in any type of person and doesn’t feel the same for everyone.”


National Depression Screening Day began as an effort to reach individuals across the nation with important mental health education and connect them with support services. Screening for Mental Health (SMH) pioneered National Depression Screening Day as the first voluntary mental health screening initiative in 1990.


“Many helpful treatments for depression are available,” said Allen. “Treatment for depression can help reduce symptoms and shorten how long the depression lasts. Treatment can include getting therapy and/or taking medications. Your doctor or a qualified mental health professional can help you determine what treatment is best for you.”


For help finding the right clinical mental health care for you, click here.