Finally, I bring you a story on mental health and the statistics behind depression in our country. This is an article with 11 stats on depression I found over at the Huffington Post site. It starts off with the number 350 million. That is the reported number from the World Health Organization (WHO) on people who suffer from depression worldwide. It continues with other stats like the fact that women are more likely than men to experience depression, and that over 10% of adolescents are likely to develop depression before the age of 19.

Depression Assessment By Nurses

depression-man-covering-faceI’m not going to list the rest here. You should check out the article for yourself and share it with your colleagues. The point here is that if you’re not assessing for depression in all of your patients, you should be. It’s not hard and doesn’t take a lot of additional time. Just strike up a conversation like you’re doing already and ask the question. Have you experienced any depression or sad thoughts lately. If they said yes then you can dig a little deeper or consider referring them to counseling or other resources.

Of course you need to have those resources to refer so, if you’re in a primary care setting or maybe just talking with a neighbor in need, take some time to check into the resources available of low or no cost in your community. Get in touch with the health department, they often have information on group counseling programs or can connect you with names for counselors in the community.

Get that info and keep it close by. The first step is awareness on your part that mental illness, and specifically depression, is a pervasive problem and should be made part of our regular assessment routine for all of our patients.

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Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Consumer Health Tech New Devices and Episode 379.

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