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Depression Screening as an Intervention Against Suicide

Douglas G. Jacobs, MD

Published: February 1, 1999

Article Abstract

Depression is a common psychiatric disorder that can disrupt a person’s health, work, and relationships, and—in some cases—lead to suicide. Disparity between the prevalence of depression and diagnosis and treatment of the disorder led to the creation in 1991 of National Depression Screening Day (NDSD), an annual nationwide screening program for depression. By raising awareness and reducing the stigma of depression, the national screening program addresses the problems of underdiagnosis and lack of treatment in persons suffering from the depressive disorder. Mental health professionals and colleagues in other specialties must reach out to depressed individuals and make it easier for them to access the health care system. This article discusses the origin and goals of NDSD, the NDSD model for the current community-based program, the results of NDSD screening, and the proposed future expansion of NDSD and the voluntary screening concept.

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Volume: 60

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