ALTON — Providers from Psychological Services at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center will be offering free and confidential depression screenings Oct. 6-7.
National Depression Screening Day is dedicated to raising awareness and screening people for depression and related mood and anxiety disorders. It is the nation’s oldest voluntary, community-based screening program that gives access to validated screening questionnaires and provides referral information for treatment.
Stress, sadness and overwhelming situations are a natural part of life, but knowing what may be the signs of a more serious clinical depression could be a lifesaver. The mind and body are interconnected, and the key to good health is to take care of both. Often those with chronic medical conditions suffer from major depression. Clinical depression has been linked to chronic pain, cardiac issues, post stroke, cancer and diabetes.
“People stop and check their physical health, but don’t often do the same with their mental health,” said Susanne Ringhausen, director of Psychological Services at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center. “In the same way that someone may get a blood pressure screening, they may also participate in a depression screening.”
The first screening will be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Psychological Services Department in Suite 101 in OSF Saint Clare’s Medical Office Building, 815 E. Fifth St., in Alton.
A second depression screening will be noon to 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at the Calhoun County Senior Center, 203 Main St. in Hardin. Clinical therapists from OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center will be there in collaboration with Lewis & Clark Community College, which received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration in 2015 for inter-professional collaborative practice.
Beginning at noon Oct. 7, Barbara Van Walleghen, a registered nurse from the Lewis and Clark Family Health Clinic, will provide a short presentation and a Q&A session on diabetes. OSF Saint Anthony’s Ringhausen will then provide a brief overview of the connection between depression and physical health.
To register for a screening on either day, call (618) 474-6240.
Individuals who take part in the depression screenings will meet privately with a licensed clinical therapist. Information about diagnoses and recommendations will be provided based on screening results. Each screening will take approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is one of America’s most common health issues. Medications and therapies are highly effective in treating depression.