|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2006
New York City Public Hospitals Join National Depression Screening Day
New York City – October 5, 2006 - The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) today announced that New York City’s public hospitals are joining thousands of sites across the country today to offer free, confidential screenings for depression and related illnesses including bipolar disorder, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. The national outreach event—National Depression Screening Day—was developed to help people learn about the signs, symptoms and treatment of mental health disorders.
More than 19 million adults nationwide suffer from clinical depression each year. Depressive disorders play a key role in development of and outcomes related to chronic diseases and if left untreated, depression may lead to increased disability and suicide.
“This particular screening is an important part of HHC’s preventive health care strategy,” said HHC President Alan D. Aviles. “Depression screening is now a routine part of medical care at New York City’s public hospitals. Those with chronic illnesses including diabetes and congestive heart failure, tend to suffer from higher rates of depression. Treating underlying depression is often a crucial first step before patients can successfully manage their own health.”
During the one-day outreach event visitors to any of 16 participating HHC facilities and health treatment locations will have the opportunity to complete a brief, written questionnaire and talk privately with a health care professional. Educational information about depression will also be available. The screening is not intended to provide a diagnosis, but to identify symptoms and help an individual determine whether they should seek a more thorough evaluation from a mental health professional. The program will connect those in need of treatment with the mental health care system. For a complete list of screenings in your area visit www.nyc.gov/hhc.
Signs that you, a friend or a loved one may have depression:
- Persistent sad, anxious or empty mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in ordinary activities
- Decreased energy, a feeling of fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Restlessness or irritability
- Inability to sleep or oversleeping
- Changes in appetite or weight
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Thoughts of death or suicide
The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is the largest municipal healthcare system in the country. HHC operates a network of 11 hospitals, six diagnostic and treatment centers, four long-term care facilities, more than 80 community clinics and a home health care agency. HHC provides care to all regardless of ability to pay. HHC serves 1.3 million New Yorkers annually, including more than 450,000 who have no health insurance.