Reaching out to make a real difference

National Depression Education and Awareness Month

What is it'

Depression is more than just feeling a little "blue" for a few days. It's a common but serious medical condition that can affect anyone- men, women, children- at any time, at any age. On average, approximately 16 million new cases of depression are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Less than two-thirds of people diagnosed however, ever receive care. Depression comes in many forms and has a variety of symptoms. Physical symptoms may include body aches and pains, irritability, anxiety and for some people, thoughts of suicide or death. Emotional symptoms of depression may include sadness, loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, restlessness, withdrawing from family and friends, trouble concentrating or making decisions.

Depression is treatable and seeking help for depression is a sign of strength.

What has the Army done'

The Army is committed to decreasing the stigma associated with seeking behavioral health care, has the resources available and encourages all of its Soldiers, family members and civilians to seek behavioral health care. The Army's depression education and awareness campaign theme is "One of the bravest acts...is to ask for help when you need it."

During the month of October, the Army is observing National Depression Education and Awareness Month and using this time to educate Soldiers, family members and civilians about the signs of symptoms of depressions and the behavioral health resources available for care.

Help for Soldiers or family members who experience depression is available through the Defense Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Center at (866) 966-1020 or MilitaryOneSource at (800) 342-9647.

The Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs also offer anonymous behavioral health assessments online for Soldiers, family members and civilians at Military Pathways and Veterans Affairs Mental Health Resources .

Why is depression education and awareness important to the Army'

Multiple deployments, exposure to war, separation from loved ones can often lead to depression for Soldiers, family members and Army civilians. Depression is however, treatable. Most people who suffer with depression need medical care and/or behavioral health care to get better. The Army is committed to decreasing stigma associated with seeking behavioral health care and encourages Soldiers, family members or civilians suffering with depression to contact their primary care physician or behavioral health counselor to get the care they need.

Page last updated Thu October 15th, 2009 at 17:41