How are you feeling? Online Screening: the first step toward recovery

October 7th, 2015

SAINT PAUL, Oct 7. For immediate release.

October 8, 2015 marks the 25th year of National Depression Screening Day. In the last year alone, more than 80,000 individuals have taken an interest in assessing their mental health through the online screening tool provided on the Mental Health Minnesota website, and the numbers are growing. 63% of people taking the online screening are between the ages of 18-24 and 85% between 18-34.

So what’s happening here?

First of all, we know that young people are actively concerned about their mental health, and rightfully so. Between the ages of 18-24 is when people are facing the world on their own for the first time. They are paying bills, going to college, living on their own and building a life. Incidentally, the ages of 18-24 is often when onset for mental illness occurs.

Screening results show that 62% of individuals who took the screening for depression and 72% who took the test for anxiety had never been treated. Those numbers jumped when an individual took the screening for bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); 93% of those people had never received treatment.

And yet, all of these screenings found the vast majority of individuals to be “at risk” for the illness.

The role of mental health screening

Mental health occurs along a continuum. For many young adults it is extremely difficult to know when to ask for help.

At what point does homesickness turn into depression? When do homework and life stressors turn into anxiety? When do the highs and lows of being a young adult point to bipolar disorder? The lines are blurred.

Online screening acts to make it a little clearer. The screening is an anonymous, non-judgmental way for adults to determine where they are on that mental health continuum. Anyone can take the screening anywhere at anytime. Over 60% of all screening completed is on a mobile device. You could be sitting on a bus or at the library and the person next to you would not know you were participating in a screening.

Knowledge is power.

Two-thirds of all mental illnesses have an onset by the age of 25. The average length of time between onset and treatment is 10 years. Those living with a serious mental illness are dying 25 years before those without a mental illness.

By determining whether someone answering questions is “at risk” of a mental illness, we can work to significantly reduce the gap between onset and treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment not only can improve someone’s quality of life but also their longevity. Knowing you may have a mental illness is the first step toward recovery and a fulfilling life.

Mental Health Minnesota: The Voice of Recovery provides the free online screening at mentalhealthmn.org.

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About Mental Health Minnesota: The Voice of Recovery

The mission of Mental Health Minnesota is to enhance mental health, promote individual empowerment, and increase access to treatment and services for persons living with mental illness.

We work to help people in their journey toward mental health recovery and wellness through direct service, public policy, education and outreach.

Contact
Shannah Mulvihill
Executive Director
Mental Health Minnesota
Phone: 651-756-8584 ext. 1
Email: [email protected]

-or-

Hali Kolkind
Development and Communications Associate
Mental Health Minnesota
Phone: 651-756-8584 ext.9
Email: [email protected]

One Response to “How are you feeling? Online Screening: the first step toward recovery”

  1. I found this to be the most staggering statistic: “Two-thirds of all mental illnesses have an onset by the age of 25. The average length of time between onset and treatment is 10 years.” Keep up the good work with creating an informed public about mental health.