(Mirror Daily, United States) – In celebration of today being the National Depression Screening Day, we have the opportunity to take a free online test to determine the risk of depression. More than that, we have the responsibility to pass the test along to those around us, be they family member, coworkers or friends.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 10 Americans deals with the dark claws of depression, yet there’s an unsettling majority of people who aren’t even aware they suffer from it. Stress or aging are usually the misplaced answers for some of symptoms of depression, which leads to a lot of people never looking for professional help.

Untreated depression will only get worse over time, and some tragic cases, it can be fatal. But today is the day to help others find if they are at-risk for depression. One of the environments where talking about mental issues is still a taboo is the workplace.

Most employers never address the problem, at least not in a proactive way. Despite the fact that many business leaders are under the impression that mental health issues should only be brought up in private conversations between the employee and a therapist, it’s much more than that.

Evidence points out to the fact that a person’s mental health is one of the greater factors affecting their workplace performance. Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Depression Center put together some information about workplace depression, starting with the fact that this condition is very treatable.

In fact, reports of the National Institute of Health say that improvements start to appear within four to six weeks of treatment, a statistic that applies to 80 percent of the patients. But diagnosing still remains the first and most important step of treatment.

Depression screenings are one of the most effective ways to detect a person’s risk. Upon receiving a positive diagnose, treatment might consist of medication, therapy or a combination of the two. That’s why it’s important that people take the depression screening; it’s anonymous, free, and doesn’t take long.

In case the answers indicate risk of depression, the tool is set to give information about local facilities that offer help. Business leaders should use the opportunity of the National Depression Screening Day to encourage their employees to take a minute to complete the screening.

More than anything else, having an open conversation about depression and mental health issues in general is a surefire way to reduce the stigma that’s so often attached to mental illness.
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