Highland Hospital to offer mental health screenings
10/10/2013 - The Charleston Daily Mail. By Andrea Lannom.
CHARLESTON - Highland Hospital's outpatient division is participating in National Depression Screening Day, offering free mental health screenings and helping people find treatment options.
Held by Process Strategies, the event will take place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at the outpatient division's office on 1418 MacCorkle Ave. SW in Charleston.
Screenings are not diagnostic but may help identify mood disorder symptoms along with local treatment options, according to a news release from Highland.
National Depression Screening Day is held in conjunction with Mental Illness Awareness Week, which Congress established to raise awareness of mental illness.
According to Screening for Mental Health, each year since 1991, the event has screened more than half a million people for depression.
Jim Strawn, director of marketing at Process Strategies, explained the business has participated in the event for the last 15 years.
"It's a pretty serious condition that is disabling our society," Strawn said. "If you have symptoms of mood swings, irritability or energy levels are changing or you're not enjoying things you used to enjoy, it's a wonderful opportunity to learn about it. And it's completely free, completely confidential."
When people come in, they will fill out a formal assessment and clinicians will discuss answers and see where to go from there.
"It's a good tool to see what you're going through," Strawn said. "What hurts my heart is that 60 percent of (sufferers) don't get treatment or don't ask for treatment."
Last year, West Virginia ranked on the high end, with 4.6 days, when it came to the number of poor mental health days, according to America's Health Rankings. The site defined this as the number of days in the past 30 days where a person's activities are limited because of mental health difficulties.
The site says poor mental health days "provide a general indication of health related quality of life, mental distress and the burden of more serious mental illnesses on the population."
According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control, one in 10 adults report depression and 2010 data from the National Alliance on Mental Illness estimated close to 81,000 adults in West Virginia live with a serious mental illness.
The Screening for Mental Health found 55 percent of people who completed a mood disorder screening sought treatment within three months.