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Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.
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National Depression Screening Day is just around the corner (October 10th!)

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. Updated: Oct 2nd 2008

National Depression Screening Day is October 10, 2008Feeling sad, stressed or anxious? A normal reaction to life events or something more?Learn more at National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) on October 10th With the crisis on Wall Street, a boom of home foreclosures, and high energy and food prices throughout the country, no one can blame you for feeling anxious or overwhelmed. These days it is common and understandable to be angry, worried and even gloomy, especially if you lost your retirement fund, your job, your house, or are stressed about paying the bills. Worry, anger and stress are normal, appropriate and even necessary during life's difficult moments. But when negative feelings prevent you from doing your daily activities or interacting with friends and loved ones, it might be time to seek help.

NDSD, held on October 10 at close to a thousand sites nationwide, can help. At this free, public event you can take an anonymous test to see if you might suffer from depression or a related disorder and learn how to get help. At National Depression Screening Day, you can take just a few minutes to complete a questionnaire that gauges your likelihood for depression, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder. Each participating location offers a wide range of educational resources on these disorders, geared toward a variety of audiences - so you can attend a screening event if you're concerned for yourself, or if you're worried about someone close to you. You will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a mental health professional to talk about your personal concerns.

To find a site near you or to take a screening online, visit Some facts about depression:

  • Depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American adults or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.

  • Trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Subsequent depressive episodes may occur with or without an obvious trigger.

  • Depressive disorders costs employers more than US$51 billion per year in absenteeism and lost productivity, not including high medical and pharmaceutical bills.

  • More than 80 percent of people with clinical depression can be successfully treated. With early recognition, intervention, and support, most individuals can lead productive lives.

Screening for Mental Health Inc® is the non-profit organization that first introduced the concept of large-scale mental health screenings with its flagship program National Depression Screening Day in 1991. SMH programs now include both in-person and online programs for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, alcohol problems, and suicide prevention. SMH programs have been used by hospitals, mental health centers, social service agencies, government agencies, older adult facilities, primary care clinicians, colleges, secondary schools, corporations, military installations and HMOs, reaching individuals ranging from teens to older adults. For more information about National Depression Screening Day, to locate a site that is offering screening on October 10th or to take a screening online, visit

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D. was Director of Mental Help Net from 1999 to 2011. Presently, he is an Oakland Psychologist (Lic#PSY25695) in private practice offering evidence-based acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and addressing a range of life problems. Contact Dr. Dombeck by calling 510-900-5123, send Dr. Dombeck email or visit Dr. Dombeck's practice website for more information.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Depression - Helen - Sep 28th 2009

I realized in the last couple of years that I suffered from depression.  I didnt realize why I cried all the time and not wanting to get out of bed.  I happened to read that October is National Depression Screening Day.  I want to get help because I have never been treated for depression.  I want to live a happier life and not be so sad all the time

Don't Wait to Get Help - Michelle Meade - Oct 2nd 2008

 Please take advantage of the screening services offered! I suffered for nearly 15 years with mental illness, refusing medical care and it nearly cost me my life. I used to think mental illness was a medical excuse for "personal weakness," but after my traumatic experiences, as detailed in my book, The Sky Is Always Blue, I now know and understand the scope and scale of how destructive mental illness can be, especially if gone untreated. I am Bi-Polar and currently I live a full and joyful life because I am totally healed of the shame associated with mental illness. Please don't hesitate to get help if you are struggling with depression or anxiety or uncontrollable mood swings. You can have your life back. There is help. I share the way out of the darkness, the hope I found, and the secret to living in love in, The Sky Is Always Blue. Check it out at Get screened, seek counsel, and surround yourself with loving support.

Nothing missing, nothing broken,

Michelle Meade


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