Google Partners with NAMI to Increase Access to Test for Depression
Google has partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to increase the public’s access to the PHQ-9, a clinically validated screening questionnaire which assesses the taker’s possible level of depression.
Google users in the U.S. who search “clinical depression” via a mobile device will be prompted to take the test. The results serve as a reference point and can spur the test taker to have a more informed conversation with their doctor, leading to sooner treatment of possible depression.
World Health Organization announces “Depression: Let’s Talk”
In their 70th year of running, the World Health Organization is announcing this year’s campaign theme “Depression: Let’s Talk.” For more details about the theme, read this blog post by Dr. Victor Schwartz of the JED Foundation.
The campaign aims “to promote a better understanding of depression, prevention and treatment mechanisms, and the underlying importance of talking about depression as a vital component for reducing stigma and supporting recovery.” See who.int/depression/en for details.
Our Headspace on the TED Radio Hour
The TED Radio Hour recently did a show on our “headspace,” the most powerful emotions from stress to despair. The installment of the podcast sought to “challenge assumptions about emotion, disquiet and the essence of well-being.”
The podcast discusses topics from the difficulty of talking about depression to recognizing and defeating negative self-talk, and featured segments from TED Talks by Andrew Solomon, Alix Generous, David Anderson, and Guy Winch.
Physical Activity Can Help Prevent and Treat Mental Health
The New York Times reported on recent work published in Preventive Medicine, which linked exercise to not only decreased occurrence of depression, but also treatment of depression. The researchers synthesized work from numerous past studies containing data on over 1 million people.
Using this, the researchers were able to find that exercise has a “large and significant effect” on depression. However, this research is still in its infancy. More work must be done to conclusively prove a correlation, as well as to determine the ideal types and duration of exercise to ward off depression.
Bruce Springsteen’s Depression
Recently, in his memoir Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen disclosed his battle with depression. In doing so, he joins the list of celebrities who have struggled against mental illness, including: Beyoncé, Eric Clapton, Kurt Cobain, Sheryl Crow, Janet Jackson, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, John Lennon, Alanis Morissette and Brian Wilson.
Through disclosing his depression, Springsteen is breaking down stereotypes surrounding mental health. He is showing how even those with mental illness can positively affect so many people and fight for so many causes.
New Guidelines Announced for Teen Depression Screening
The US Preventative Services Task Force recently came out with new recommendations which suggest that adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 get routinely screened for depression by their primary care provider. This parallels the measures currently in place for adults. With teen depression affecting so many, these new guidelines are a welcome step in the direction of integrating physical and behavioral health. To read more, see the articles below: