Stock Photo by Sean Locke

Stock Photo by Sean Locke

The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation is in – screen ALL adults for depression.

Depression is a Community-Wide Issue
Considering that depression is one of the leading causes of disability in adults, it makes sense, right? And because the effects of depression reach far beyond the individual (families, businesses, and society can be negatively impacted by this disease) mental health should be regarded as a community-wide issue.

An important part of this recommendation is that it is Grade B, which means that anyone can be screened without any qualifications. Basically, you don’t have to “prove” anything to “earn” a depression screening. Additionally, the USPSTF says that an accurate diagnosis should be followed by effective treatment, and concluded with appropriate follow-up. In other words, the diagnosis is just the beginning of the journey.

Just as with other health conditions, depression symptoms can be reduced or relieved when treated correctly and in a timely fashion. If you need help, medical professionals can create a treatment plan that involves medication, therapy, or both.

9Health Fair: A Place to Start
Adding a new aspect to your healthcare routine can be daunting. If you don’t know where to start, just go to a 9Health Fair! Many locations offer a free stress management screening, which would be a great way to see if further evaluation is needed – without spending any money.

Many people are already in the habit of including weight and blood pressure in their annual preventive health plan. Adding a mental health evaluation paints a more inclusive picture of your overall wellness. By screening all adults for depression, this new USPSTF recommendation encourages our community to bring mental health issues into the light.