National Depression Awareness Month

Thursday October 6, 2011

What is it?

October is National Depression Awareness Month for the Army. On Oct. 6, 2011, organizations and communities across the U.S. will observe 'National Depression Screening Day' to educate people about the various signs and symptoms of depression and the availability of free anonymous behavioral health screenings. The Army theme for 2011 is "Healthy Body - Healthy Mind."

Clinical depression is a serious medical condition that if left untreated, may lead to other complicated medical conditions. Depression signs and symptoms may include body aches and pain, sadness, irritability, changes in appetite or sleep, trouble concentrating or withdrawing from family, friends and activities you once enjoyed. A depression screening however, is often the first step to getting well. Unfortunately, two-thirds of people who suffer from depression fail to seek the care needed. They mistakenly believe their symptoms are just a normal part of life. The good news for people who suffer with depression is that clinical depression can be treated. Treatments may include psychotherapy, medications or a combination of both.

What has the Army done?

The Army encourages commanders and leaders to coordinate events locally with military and civilian behavioral health providers. This is being done to educate Soldiers, family members and civilians on the signs and symptoms of depression and opportunities, and if needed, they can be screened and referred for treatment by a primary care or behavioral health provider. Anonymous depression screenings are available for Soldiers, family members and Army civilians through the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and behavioral health agencies and resources in local communities.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army is committed to decreasing stigma for Soldiers, family members and civilians who seek behavioral health care. Even the most severe cases of depression, are treatable. The earlier the treatment begins, the more effective it is and the greater the likelihood the recurrence of depression can be prevented. If you or someone you know suffers from depression, help is available. Soldiers, family members or civilians suffering with depression are urged to contact their primary care physician or behavioral health counselor to get the care they need.

What continued effort does the Army have planned for the future?

The Army will embed behavioral health providers and continuity of care managers in all military treatment facilities and Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs).

Resources:

Army Behavioral Health

Military OneSource

Wounded Soldier and family hotline: 1-800-984-8523 and VA Crisis Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

ABOUT THE ARMY

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WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

Senior Leaders are Saying

"It really is an amazing competition, and it helps us identify some incredible Soldiers (both NCOs and junior enlisted)who ... come here and compete against each other. And (they're) not just competing in combative and marksmanship and all those basic skills that are so critical to today's modern warrior. Equally important, they're being challenged intellectually."

-Secretary of the Army John McHugh, during a Best Warrior Competition training event at Fort Lee, Va., Oct. 5, 2011.

Best Warrior brings Army Secretary to Fort Lee

What They're Saying

"We are here ... to raise awareness. Raising awareness ensures our Soldiers are educated on the subject to better take care of our families and always be ready to deploy and take care of each other; we want our spouses to thrive while they are back home waiting for their Soldiers."

- Capt. Lonnie Colbert, company commander for Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, at the "Walk a Mile in her Shoes" event, to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault, held in Vilseck, Germany, Oct. 1, 2011

Community 'rises up' against domestic violence

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