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New York City Seal
Press Release
NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene
Office of Communications
CONTACT: Sandra Mullin/Kelly Sobel
Wednesday, October 9, 2002
(212) 788-5290
(877) 640-1347


Free Depression Screenings Available at Dozens of Sites Citywide

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) today announced that tomorrow, Thursday October 10, as part of National Depression Screening Day, the City will make available free and confidential screenings for depression at dozens of sites citywide.

"Depression is a biologically based illness that each year affects 17 to 20 million Americans of all ages, from all walks of life," said Executive Deputy Commissioner of DOHMH's Division of Mental Hygiene Lloyd I. Sederer, M.D. "Though treatment for depression is highly effective, the illness can often go undetected resulting in the predominance of people in need not receiving necessary and effective care."

Screenings are designed to identify people who may be experiencing symptoms of depression and to connect those persons with appropriate treatment and support services. People who receive a free screening will be asked to complete a simple written screening test and will be able to talk one-on-one with a mental health professional if desired. Those who need further evaluation will receive referrals to local treatment services.

National Depression Screening Day is a nationwide initiative organized by Screening for Mental Health, a non-profit group. The effort is supported by major organizations such as the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Mental Health Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. Local activities are being organized by DOHMH in conjunction with the New York City Depression Coalition. National Depression Screening Day is also traditionally scheduled during National Mental Illness Awareness week (this year October 6-12) to increase public awareness and understanding of advances in the treatment of mental illness, current research and the barriers that continue to exist for people who need help.

Screenings will be offered at the City's public hospitals and a range of other sites. For information on screening sites, please call DOHMH at (212) 219-5520, the Mental Health Association of New York City at (212) 254-0333, or visit For more information visit and