NASHVILLE (press release)—The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS) encourages individuals who are struggling with depression, or thoughts of suicide, to seek help for themselves or a loved one.
“Clinical depression is a serious medical illness that can be diagnosed and is treatable, not a sign of weakness,” said E. Douglas Varney, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (TDMHSAS). “While it may sometimes seem like a passing phase, it’s an illness and it tends to run in families.”
Someone who’s struggling with major depression will frequently express feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and always being tired. They may be irritable, have low productivity at work, and no longer enjoy activities that were once their favorites.
Resources and immediate assistance are available by calling the TDMHSAS Office of Consumer Services at 1-800-560-5767 or email: OCA.TDMHSAS@tn.gov.
“Unfortunately there is still a lot of stigma associated with depression,” said Kathy Haley, Consumer Advocate in the TDMHSAS Office of Consumer Affairs and Peer Recovery Services. “Our goal is to help people understand that long-term sadness is not healthy and treatment does work.”
Haley says some of the ways you can help a loved one who is depressed include:
- Offer support, understanding, patience, and encouragement.
- Talk to them and listen carefully.
- Never ignore comments about suicide.
- Remind them that treatment works.
Mental Health America offers an online Depression Screening survey to help determine if an individual is experiencing a mental health issue. Health screenings can help spot the early signs of depression. It’s one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S. and impacts an estimated 10 million adults. Being aware of your own depression is the first step in recognizing there is a problem.