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HSI to provide free depression screening

Mental illness affects more American than heart disease, cancer and lung disease combined. Mental or emotional disorders affect one in every five adults, and one in 20 deals with serious, persistent mental illness.

The five most common symptoms of depression are:

• Loss of interest in previously enjoyable activities

• Feelings of hopelessness or sadness

• Difficulty in concentration or making decisions

• Changes in appetite or sleep patterns

• Thoughts of hurting oneself or suicide

As part of a national effort to call attention to the prevalence of depression and other mental health disorders, HSI (Human Services, Inc.) will be providing free mental health screenings to educate people on signs and symptoms and connect those in need to treatment.

HSI will be hosting a free walk-in mental health assessment on Friday, Oct. 10 from noon to 3 p.m.

The assessment includes a video, short screening test, and a brief confidential conversation with a mental health professional.

The screening location will be at HSI's Oakdale office, 7066 Stillwater Blvd. North. No appointment is necessary.

Untreated clinical depression is an illness that typically persists and may lead, for some, to suicide. Once treated, over 80 percent improve within one year.

Medical and mental health professionals will help sort out the best treatments for individuals which most commonly include individual, group or family therapy, medication or both. Screening for depression is the first step in getting help.

HSI, a nonprofit organization with seven offices located throughout Washington County, serves more than 8,600 residents annually by providing services for adults, children, adolescents and families who face daily struggles related to emotional disorders, mental illness, chemical dependency, or domestic or sexual abuse.

In addition, HSI provides services for the elderly and adults with disabilities, which include Meals on Wheels, adult day programs, and transportation.

For more information, call (651) 777-5222 or visit www.hsicares.org .

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