America calls for depression screenings to help prevent suicides

imagesLast week, National Suicide Prevention Week helped to raise awareness about suicide and how its devastating hundreds of thousands of lives all around the world.

As well as becoming a primary concern for the UK, this is an epidemic that is also gripping the USA which witnessed 41,000 suicide-related deaths in 2013. According to the American Association of Suicidology, depression was found to be present in at least 50% of all suicide cases and those suffering from depression are a staggering 25 times more likely to take their own lives compared to the general population.

Highlighting the severity of this issue, the U.S Preventative Services Task Force has called for depression screening in a primary care setting for all adults. They believe that by identifying individuals with depression, the necessary steps can be taken to prevent suicide later down the line.

Treating the underlying issues related to depression can also help to improve other conditions such as diabetes and heart disease - two other illnesses which are amongst the biggest killers of sufferers across the world.

The proposed depression screening sessions would only be the first step on the road to recovery which is why the plan also anticipates offering further help. This will include providing assistance to primary care practices such as embedding behavioural health professionals into the offices, putting on health coaching programmes for depression and coordinating ongoing treatment.

Do you think that depression screening could help to prevent the number of suicides worldwide and is this something that should be implemented in the UK as well? Feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page. 

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