National Depression Education and Awareness Month

Thursday October 8, 2009

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.


Real Warriors Campaign Web site

Military OneSource

BATTLEMIND! Armor For Your Mind

Army Behavioral Health

Comprehensive Soldier Fitness

Veterans Affairs Mental Health Resources





Army Professional Writing







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2009 Commemorations :

Year of the NCO

Year of the Military Family

100th Anniversary of the Chaplain Assistant

October 2009

Army Domestic Abuse Prevention/Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Depression Education and Awareness Month
Energy Awareness Month

Sept. 15 - Oct. 15: National Hispanic Heritage Month

Oct. 5- 7: Association of the United States Army Exposition


"After we assess a Soldier's needs, give them the training and education they require, if needed we'll intervene and treat accordingly. But over time, we're going to build a large population of even more resilient Soldiers to deal with what we're dealing with today."

- Brig. Gen. Colleen L. McGuire, director of the Army Suicide Prevention Task Force, recognizing the fact that every Soldier can't be the most resilient, but the Army can improve their resiliency through regularly teaching skills such as problem solving, energy management and putting things in perspective to be better equipped to deal with any occurrence of traumatic events

Army plans resiliency training to deal with stress


Year of the Noncommissioned Officer

"We're transitioning from a training based organization to an educational based organization. We know that a Soldier that is trained performs well. What we want is a Soldier that is educated and can solve problems in a variety of conflict."

- Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Chandler, commandant of the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, laid-out specific changes to noncommissioned officer education curricula during a Sergeants Corner presentation at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting, October 5-7, 2009

USASMA commandant speaks to changes in NCO development


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