National Depression Screening Day

Wouldn’t it be a shame to suffer or die from a common and very treatable illness? Then why is this exactly what is happening to millions of Americans with depression? 

For this year’s National Depression Screening on October 5, let’s focus on the importance of seeking help. Depression is a common and treatable mood disorder. Most people who receive treatment for depression show an improvement in symptoms, usually within four to six weeks. Spreading depression awareness about the different ways those dealing with it can get help will save lives. Please join us and spread the word to increase awareness of mental health.

General Population

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44
  • Depression affects more than 15 million Americans 18 and older (6.7% of the adult population)
  • Only 50% diagnosed with major depression receive treatment for it
  • Only 20% get care meeting latest guidelines for treatment


  • 20% of young people experience depression in their teen years
  • 30% of teens with depression developed substance use disorder
  • 64% of youths with major depression don’t receive mental health treatment

National Depression Screening Day


  • Suicide rate is 50% higher than civilians
  • About 50% of veterans who need help seek it out
  • Only 25% get adequate care
  • Last year, 490,000 calls were made to the Veterans Crisis Line (800-273-8255, Press 1)

In order to encourage people we know to get help, we need to be able to recognize they may be having problems. A great place to start is by taking one of our anonymous, online screenings at

Here are some common signs and symptoms to look out for:

Depression causes persistent sadness and loss of interest.

  • Changes in sleep and appetite
  • Poor Concentration
  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Low self-esteem
  • Hopelessness or guilt
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, is defined by extreme changes in mood, thought, energy and behavior. These changes are categorized into manic (high) and depressive (low) episodes, ranging from bursts of energy to deep despair.

Mania Symptoms

  • Heightened mood, exaggerated optimism and self-confidence
  • Excessive irritability, aggressive behavior
  • Decreased need for sleep without experiencing fatigue
  • Racing speech, racing thoughts, flight of ideas
  • Impulsiveness, poor judgment, easily distracted
  • Reckless behavior

Depressive Symptoms 

  • Changes in sleep and appetite
  • Poor Concentration
  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Low self-esteem
  • Hopelessness or guilt
  • Recurring thoughts of death or suicide

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is triggered by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event.

  • Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event
  • Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)
  • Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)
  • Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that serve as reminders of the trauma
  • Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)
#NDEAM - Inclusion Drives Innovation

How are you planning to observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)?

Held each October, NDEAM aims to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. NDEAM is led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Learn how you can support NDEAM by visiting the ODEP website:

Learn about employment opportunities in Partners’ counties by contacting Ryan Shuford at
or call: 704-884-2579.

Enrollee Navigator

Your Responsibilities

1. Your biggest responsibility is self-determination. Self-determination means you have full power over your life and health care, regardless of your disability or mental health. For self-determination to be successful, you, your family and friends, and your caregivers need to be as informed and involved as you possibly can.

  • carrying your Medicaid or other insurance cards with you at all times
  • giving information to your health care providers
  • telling doctors, nurses, and therapists about any changes in your health
  • informing staff if you have a contagious medical condition
  • telling your doctor how your medications make you feel or if they do not help
  • taking medications as prescribed for you
  • understanding your health and developing treatment goals
  • inviting helpful and supportive people to your treatment planning
  • telling your doctor or therapist if you do not agree with their recommendations

  • making sure the care plans you have agreed to are followed
  • asking questions about your care and what you are expected to do
  • working on your Person-Centered Plan goals
  • respecting other members’ and program staff’s rights and property
  • respecting other members’ needs for privacy
  • keeping all the scheduled appointments that you can
  • cancelling an appointment at least 24 hours in advance
  • cooperating with people caring for you
  • telling your doctor or therapist if you want to end treatment

2. You also have a responsibility to give Partners input on policies and services. The best way to give this input is to attend a Consumer and Family Advisory Committee meeting. Meetings are held on the second Monday of the month beginning at 6 p.m. Meetings are held at Partners’ Hickory Regional Office, 1985 Tate Boulevard SE, Hickory, NC, with videoconferencing to the Elkin Regional Office. Please contact Shirley Moore at or call 704-884-2646 and let her know you are coming.

3. Please make sure Partners and your providers have your most recent mailing address. You can do this a few ways:

  • If you have Medicaid – Contact the Department of Social Services for the county approving your Medicaid. You can find the list online or on page 31 of your Consumer/Enrollee Handbook.
  • Call Partners at 1-888-235-HOPE (4673) and let us know your new address
  • Tell your provider your new address

In the Community 

One Community, One Healthy Lifestyle

Recent studies indicate that people with serious mental illness (SMI) die 25 to 30 years earlier than individuals in the general population. Last fall, A Caring Alternative was selected as one of 18 behavioral health agencies across the nation to implement an integrative physical and behavioral health promotion program called InSHAPE to combat this problem. The Purpose of InSHAPE is to improve physical health and quality of life, and reduce the risk of preventable diseases of individuals with serious mental illnesses. On Friday, October 6, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at One North Square, 311 East Meeting Street, Morganton, come visit various vendors and health promotion activities. Lunch will be served from 12-1 p.m.

Fair Housing Laws Training

Join us for a free Fair Housing Laws training hosted by Partners on Thursday, October 19, from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at Surry Community College, Room A121, 630 S. Main Street, in Dobson. Two sessions will cover the responsibilities of property owners and managers, requests for reasonable accommodations, and the rights of people with disabilities. Space is limited; please register today to reserve your spot. You can also call Bre Griffin Housing Educator at Partners 704-884-2514 for assistance with registering.

Partners Health Summit: Teens & Toxic Times

This free, one-day educational conference is especially for professionals who work with teens. Learn how to help adolescents deal with mental illness, substance use disorders, and other behavioral health issues on Friday, October 13, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. Register now.

Ribbon Cutting and Open House – Gaston Complete Health

You are invited to the grand opening of Gaston Complete Health to see how combining primary care, behavioral health, and social issues will impact health for people of Gaston County. The event is on Wednesday, October 18, from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at 2505 Court Drive, Gastonia.

NEW LOCATION-Burke County Child Collaborative

The Burke County Child Collaborative will now meet on the first Monday of each month, from 8:30-10 a.m. at its NEW LOCATION, Foothills Higher Education Center, room 213, 2128 S. Sterling Street, Morganton.

Behavioral Health Focus is published on the first and third Tuesday of each month and is intended to be a source of information for those working or interacting with behavioral health care in Burke, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Surry and Yadkin Counties. If you would like to contribute, contact Jeff Brucato at 704-884-2564 or Items should be submitted by Wednesday at 3 p.m. for the next week’s issue.

Volume 3 – Issue 6
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