October 11 was National Depression Screening Day, and 859 people were screened on a voluntary and anonymous basis at HHC facilities throughout the city. The annual event is organized by Screening for Mental Health, Inc. and HHC facilities provide educational materials about depression and the importance of seeking professional care.
The 2007 theme -- "Stop a Suicide Today! -- highlighted the relationship between depression and suicide. Families were provided with information about how to recognize the signs of suicide and respond effectively by helping those at risk seek treatment.
The theme was also consistent with HHC's suicide prevention toolkit SPIRIT (Suicide Prevention, Intervention, Recovery, and Information Toolkit), which contains best practices and strategies for evaluation, treatment and referral of suicidal patients.
Approximately 17 million people are affected by depression each year. Thousands of screenings were held across the country, and HHC was one of the largest healthcare systems to participate. HHC is committed to making depressions screening part of routine medical care.