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KNOW THE SYMPTONS OF DEPRESSION; WHERE AND HOW TO GET HELP, AND PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

Less Than 25 Percent of Individuals with Depression Receive Adequate Treatment
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Editor?s Note: This is the third in a five part series of press releases from the Campaign for Community Wellness for May as Mental Health Awareness Month ? next topic is stigma, then Campaign for Community Wellness. (www.campaignforcommunitywellness.org) This information is from Placer County System of Care (Placer County, Calif.) ? May 22, 2012 ? Although your neighbor appears on the outside to be living a ?normal? life, and your child is breaking sports records left and right, the people around you might very well be suffering inside from depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), 9.5 percent or 20.9 million American adults suffer from a depressive illness in any given year. Depression manifests itself through the presence of symptoms typically lasting everyday for about two weeks in adults, and one week in children or adolescents. Because children are not as articulate as adults in expressing their emotions, parents, guardians, teachers, older friends and relatives must be able to look for early signs of trouble. The most common symptoms of depression in adults, adolescents and children include: ? Fatigue or loss of energy ? Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions ? Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness or guilt ? Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping ? Loss of interest in activities and hobbies ? Thoughts of suicide; attempts at suicide ? A sense of restlessness, or being slowed down. ? Significant weight loss or gain ? Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems ? Excessive alcohol consumption and drug abuse Depression is a highly treatable condition, and steps may be taken in an effort to prevent it. However, some forms of depression may not be preventable; those forms most often manifest because of a chemical malfunction in the brain and may have been caused, for example, by experiencing repeated trauma as child (i.e. living with an alcoholic and/or abusive parent, being bullied by peers). The good news is that studies show that depression may be alleviated, or even at times prevented, by adopting healthy lifestyle changes and seeking professional treatment. Steps to potentially prevent depression include making time to relax and enjoy special times with friends and family; adhering to a well-balanced diet; staying focused on a fun and results-oriented exercise program and creating a healthy and happy living environment. Although treatment of depression is effective 60 to 80 percent of the time, according to the World Health Organization, less than 25 percent of individuals with depression receive adequate treatment. ?Early intervention and supporting the needs of the entire family are most important in assuring a child?s healthy mental, behavioral and emotional development because a child is impacted by what's happening with his family,? says Janice Leroux, executive director, First 5 Placer. ?First 5 provides funding that addresses the needs of the entire family and fund such places like ?Lighthouse? in support of parenting classes as well as counseling. The Sierra Native Wellness program also offers a holistic approach with a continuum of services from counseling and recovery, to home visiting and parent education.? For immediate help, the following is a list of local resources to assist people who are struggling with depression: First 5 Placer www.first5placer.org 365 Nevada Street, Auburn, CA 530.745.1413 Lighthouse Counseling & Family Resource Center www.lighthousefrc.com 427 A Street #400, Lincoln, CA 916.645.3300 Sierra Native Alliance www.sierranativealliance.org 173 Oak Street, Auburn, CA Located at Alta Vista School, Room 7 530.888.6767 Turning Point Community Treatment Programs Coloma Center www.tpcp.org/coloma-center. 120 Ascot Center, Suite D, Roseville, CA 916.786.3750; Placer County Access call 916.787.8860 Local resources that provide general assistance for depression and other mental health illnesses can be found at the Placer County Network of Care website at www.placer.networkofcare.org. ### About the Campaign for Community Wellness Founded in 2005, the Campaign for Community Wellness (CCW) is a group of citizens who are concerned about and desire to improve the services for people affected by mental illness throughout Placer County. For more information, please visit www.campaignforcommunitywellness.org.