BOSTON (CBS) – Governor Charlie Baker and several lawmakers will mark National Depression Screening Day at the State House Thursday by showcasing a new tool imagined by Massachusetts advocates.
Screening for Mental Health, a Wellesley-based organization, started a movement 25 years ago encouraging people to get screened for common mental health concerns. Their latest project is a self-screening kiosk that would sit alongside other medical equipment, such as a blood pressure cuff, on college campuses or in medical clinics.
The message they want to send is that mental health is just as important as physical health.
The MindKare kiosk can confidentially screen for many common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. From the side, passersby are unable to see what the person using the kiosk is answering, but the questions are similar to what a patient would be asked during a medical evaluation.
The screening kiosk is not a substitute for a diagnosis, but users can print the findings and take them to their doctor. If the kiosk finds a user might have a mental illness, it can also point the user towards professional help.
“Anywhere from 7-to-8 million people suffer from depression who do not get treatment,” said Dr. Douglas Jacobs, the Medical Director and Founder of Screening for Mental Health.
“Depression is treatable and treatment is accessible.”
The group screens about 500,000 people a year for mental illness and built their first MindKare kiosk with a grant from the Scattergood Foundation. For more information on the kiosk visit mentalhealthscreening.org.
Click here to take an online screening.
To find treatment, visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration web site.
Governor Baker will proclaim October 8th National Depression Screening Day in Massachusetts at the State House this Thursday at 10 a.m.