2006-09-22 / Community

SJEH Sets Clinical Depression Screening

If you have feelings of persistent sadness, hopelessness and guilt and your interest or pleasure in ordinary activities has lessened, you may be suffering from depression, says Penny Chin, a spokesperson for St. John's Episcopal Hospital, South Shore.

Clinical depression is a serious and common disorder of mood that can be treated, Chin says.

One way to seek help confidentially and at no cost is to get screened on National Depression Screening Day, which will be held on Thursday, October 5. The Community Mental Health Center (CMHC), of St. John's Episcopal Hospital, located at 521 Beach 20 Street in Far Rockaway, is offering free screening on that day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Those who cannot attend the screening can call the CMHC at (718) 869-8822 to schedule a screening for an alternate date and time. All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

The screening can help identify the symptoms for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.

The screening consists of filling out a short questionnaire folowed by a brief confidential interview with a mental health professional to discuss the results of the screenings. Referrals, if appropriate, will be given. Educational literature will also be available.

The community-based mental health screening has been offered across the country as part of Mental Illness Awareness Week. The goals are to call attention to the prevalence of mental health disorders in society; educate people about the signs and symptoms, as well as the availability of effective treatments; and to connect those in need to mental health care services.

The Community Mental Health Center offers a comprehensive range of diagnostic and treatment services to residents of the Rockaway peninsula.

The CMHC's highly qualified and caring team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and nurses provide treatment tailored to the needs of the individual.

Modalities include: individual, family and group therapies; case management; medication therapy; psychological testing; and crisis intervention.

The Far Rockaway-based Center also offers services for family members, as well as bereavement and marital counseling. Special group services include treatment of phobias and depression, anxiety management, parenting, anger management, depression and domestic violence.

To make an appointment for the screening program or for more information, those interested should call (718) 869-8822.

Walk-ins are welcome.

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