2005-11-25 / Community

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital Battles ‘The Holiday Blues’

Do the holidays get you down? Are you one of the millions of Americans who feel like they’re losing control over their own emotions? Have you found yourself worrying about situations that others find to be mundane, reliving moments from your past?

For most people, figuring out the line between unrealistic holiday expectations, “I’ve been moody lately” or “I have depression” is difficult. National Mental Health Screening Day has been helping people make that distinction for the past 15 years. This year, St. John’s Episcopal Hospital will hold National Mental Health Screening Day on Thursday, December 8, 2005, just in time for the holidays. The screenings will be held that day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Community Mental Health Center at 521 Beach 20th Street, Far Rockaway, NY 11691.

As part of the screening, respondents are invited to fill out a one-page questionnaire assessing the likelihood that they may be suffering from depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or other disorder.

They will also have the opportunity to receive informational pamphlets and brochures, and follow up privately with a mental health professional, if necessary. The program is free for all those who attend and is completely confidential. Refreshments will also be served.

“The stigma associated with depression and related disorders has decreased in recent years, but many people still aren’t able to recognize a mood or anxiety disorder in themselves and others,” says Ronald Brenner, MD, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at St. John’s. “This is an easy first step for anyone who’s concerned about their own mental health or the mental health of someone close to them.”

For more information or to schedule a free mental health screening on an alternate day, please call the Community Mental Health Center at (718) 869-8822.

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