October is the start of the holiday season. Here in Omaha, fall is in the air. Our homes are filled with pumpkins and our yards are filled with leaves. October is also filled with a focus on sharing information on mental health screenings and providing education on depression, awareness, and prevention.
October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, as well as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month. These topics can easily be triggering for someone who has personally felt that loss or seen a family member suffer. Even during the start of the festive season, these topics can weigh heavily on our hearts and minds. In this article, we will focus on Mental Health Screening Month but will provide informative links, services, and assistance for those affected by the other topics.
National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month:
Depression stems from several factors and is not always the same for every person. Depression can be a mix of environmental factors, genetic traits or qualities, biochemical components, and so much more. The way depression affects a person is not consistent around the board, and it can happen at any time.
Signs and symptoms of depression can include:
- Sad, anxious, or empty feelings that don’t go away.
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Worthless or guilty feelings
- Loss of interest in things that were once engaging or exciting.
- Changes in weight or appetite
- Increased irritability or frustration
- Increased fatigue or lack of motivation
- Changes in sleep – difficulty staying asleep or sleeping more.
- Difficulty concentrating and making safe decisions.
- Feelings of suicidal thoughts or ideations
October is the dedicated month for mental health advocates to join together and bring awareness to how important and life-changing it can be to be screened for any mental illness, not solely depression. A mental health screening consists of a series of questions that help a provider better understand signs and symptoms a person is experiencing and can later help them assess for a mental health disorder. The questions often examine mood, behavior, thought process, and memory. A person can be screened for depression, anxiety, ADHD, bipolar, addictions, and many other types of mental health disorders. So why is it important to have a screening done? For early prevention, a head start on managing existing symptoms, and to educate yourself and learn coping skills, or begin medication.
At Arbor Family Counseling we are here to help! Our counselors are available to schedule or speak to if you are experiencing any signs or symptoms listed above, dealing with loss, or for anyone needing a safe space. Please contact our office at 402-330-0960 to schedule an appointment or visit us at arborfamilycounseling.com.
For additional information on Arbor’s services and to hear more from our counselors, please tune into our podcast ‘Talks with Trivium’. The second season of the podcast will discuss Domestic Violence.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness:
Domestic Violence Awareness: