The month of October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month – a time to raise awareness of mental illness and the importance of health screenings.
There is a growing need for accessible and affordable mental health screenings. Not everyone experiences depression in the same way, but it can affect anyone at any time. Screening tools can help doctors and mental health professionals identify depression and the best course of treatment.
Let’s learn more about the different types of depression screenings, their benefits and who should be tested.
Types of Depression Assessments
Screening tools are emerging as quick and reliable methods for identifying depression. There are different tools available, and one isn’t necessarily better than the others. It depends on the age of the person, the symptoms they are experiencing and other factors.
The most common depression screening instruments are:
- Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)
- Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
- Short Form Health Survey (SF-36)
- Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D)
- Hamilton Depression Screening Rating Scale (HAM-D)
- Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC)
- Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL)
- Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI)
- Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)
- Life Satisfaction Index
Who Should Receive a Depression Screening?
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Academy of Family Physicians recommend screening for depression in the general adult population. The USPSTF also recommends that children and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 be screened for depression.
Of course, anyone who is vulnerable to depression or having suicidal thoughts should be screened regularly. Some people struggle with their mental health when financial problems, relationship issues, job setbacks and other stressors pile on.
Others are affected by the weather – millions of Americans experience symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A brief screening can identify depression in these individuals and help them access the proper support.
What are the Benefits of Depression Screenings?
Depression screening is a quick, effective and non-invasive method for identifying potential cases of depression. If a person gets a positive result, this does not automatically mean they have depression. Instead, they receive more in-depth testing to determine if they have clinical depression or another medical or mental health condition.
The benefits of depression screenings include:
- Emphasis on having good mental health
- Early detection allows people to get the help they need – 80 percent of people with depression improve with treatment
- Short, simple and cost-effective to administer
- Identify potential co-occurring conditions
- Stop the cycle of self-medication
- Prevent long-term suffering and other problems like lost employment, broken relationships, etc.
Seek Help from Our Depression Treatment Center in Los Angeles
Some people do very well receiving treatment from their primary care doctor. Others, particularly those with substance use and other co-occurring disorders, may benefit from more intensive treatment.
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, Breathe Life Healing Centers are here to help. Located in Los Angeles, we take a multi-pronged approach to treating a wide range of mental health problems. Contact our depression treatment center to learn more about our one-of-a-kind recovery program.