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Where to Get Help: Effective Treatments for Depression

It can be hard to admit you’re not OK and ask for help. But, help and support are available around you and can make a positive difference.

Mood disorders affect one in 10 adults in the United States each year. Depression is the most common, impacting 6.8 percent of adults in any one year. Of these adults, only 57 percent receive the professional mental health care or other services that they need.

That means someone around you might be dealing with depression and not getting the support they need. It’s important that we not only know how to recognize signs and symptoms of depression but know where to get help for ourselves and those around us. People with depressive disorders are more likely to seek help if someone close to them suggests it. You can be that person.

There is a range of effective treatments available for depression, including professional help and self-help strategies. Consider these professional treatment options from the MHFA curriculum if you or someone you know needs help.

  1. Supportive counseling. Supportive counseling involves listening and providing emotional support. A therapist will give information about depression, provide emotional support and teach problem-solving skills. This type of treatment is most appropriate for mild depression.
  2. Psychological therapies. There is good evidence for psychological therapies that have been developed to treat depression, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy. These therapies can help people learn coping skills for stress, regulate emotions, manage sleep and improve relationships.
  3. Medical treatment. Antidepressant medications have proven effective with adults who have depression. For people with bipolar disorder, mood stabilizer medications can help reduce mood swings.

If you’re unsure if you need treatment or where to turn, talk to a health professional. Primary care physicians, mental health professionals, certified peer specialists and psychiatrists can all help you get more information for your specific situation.

You can also take a Mental Health First Aid course. Mental Health First Aid teaches people about the signs and symptoms of depression, self-help strategies and professionals who are available to help you or your loved one. Take a course #BeTheDifference today.

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