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Samaritan Counseling Center to offer free depression screenings

Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. Mental illness affects even more people through family, friends, and coworkers. Despite mental illnesses’ reach and prevalence, stigma and misunderstanding are still widespread.

“It can be easy to let our circumstances dictate our perspective,” explains Chris Beam, Executive Director of Samaritan Counseling Center. “When we face trials or difficult times, the difficulties may lead us to believe we are in a hopeless situation or that we are already defeated.”

Every year during the first week of October, The Samaritan Counseling Center educates the public to help eliminate stigma and advocate for better access to mental health care.

During the week of October 4-10, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and participants across the country raise awareness about mental health. Mental health conditions are important to discuss year-round, but highlighting them during mental illness awareness week provides a dedicated time for mental health advocates across the country to come together as one unified voice.

The Samaritan Counseling Center, located at 208 S. Broad Street in Bainbridge, is responding to this national movement by offering free confidential depression screenings October 5 – 9 from 8am – 11:30 am. No appointment is necessary and the center will be practicing safe social distancing guidelines.

Visitors can expect to be greeted by a center staff member, asked to complete a short questionnaire, and then invited to have a brief ten-minute conversation with a trained counselor.

By the Numbers:
• Depression is the #1 cause of disability in the US
• 1 in 5 American adults experience mental illness each year
• 1 in 6 American youth experience a mental health disorder each year
• 21% of adults with substance use disorder experience a major depressive episode in 2018
• 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14
• $6 trillion is the projected annual global cost of mental disorders in 2030
Dates to be aware of:
• Tuesday Oct. 6: National Day of Prayer for mental illness recovery and understanding
• Thursday Oct. 8: National depression screening day
• Saturday Oct. 10: World mental health day

For more resources, visit samaritancounselingswga.org or nami.org, call the center at 229-243-1633, or pick up a free copy of The Bridge magazine at locations throughout town.