More Tennesseans screening themselves for depression

At least one in three girls experienced some form of bullying, the same number reported depression. (Pixabay/Elizabet21/Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (NNS) -- More and more Tennesseans are screening themselves for depression, according to the National News Service.

Tom Starling, CEO of the advocacy organization Mental Health America of the MidSouth, says more than 41,000 Tennesseans have completed screenings during the past four years.

"About 90% of all suicides are related to undiagnosed mental illness, primarily depression," Starling points out. "And that's why it's important to be preventive and have an early intervention and to know that you're not alone, that what you're going through is real, treatable."

The anonymous, evidence-based screenings are available at mhaMidSouth.org.

Depression rates are on the rise nationwide, particularly among youths.

According to federal data, in Tennessee more than 30% of adolescents experiencing a major depressive episode between 2011 and 2015 received treatment for their depression.

Starling stresses that even if an individual can't afford to see a doctor, an online screening is free and easily accessible.

"It's a great tool, usually just nine, 10, 11 questions that will definitely give you a solid indicator that you have depression," he states.

Starling also points to a nationwide crisis text line, a free, 24/7, confidential text message service for people in crisis.

"Just by being able to connect to a trained crisis counselor, 24/7, that's the best way to go if you're a youth or an adult, or you're in a rural area, you can always text for help to talk to somebody about local resources in your area," he states.

Text 741-741 to reach a crisis counselor. You can also call 1-800-273-8255 24/7.

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