On Your Health

Check back to the INTEGRIS On Your Health blog for the latest health and wellness information for all Oklahomans, published three times a week.

Today is National Depression Screening Day

Do you think you might be suffering from depression? If so, today is National Depression Screening Day. INTEGRIS Mental Health is offering free and anonymous mental health screenings at the following five libraries today.
  • Belle Isle Library
  • Northwest Library
  • Edmond Library
  • Midwest City Library
  • Southern Oaks Library
Millions of people in the U.S. suffer from depression. Depression is a whole-body illness, involving the body, mood, and thoughts, and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, feels about himself or herself, and thinks about things. It is not the same as being unhappy or in a blue mood. Nor is it a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away.  Listen as Sara Barry with INTEGRIS Mental Health talks about FREE services available to those battling depression. Could you or someone you love benefit from assistance from one of our mental health professionals? For more information about the free screenings, please visit the OKC Metro Library System website: http://www.metrolibrary.org/. After completing a screening, you will receive referral information to local agencies that offer further evaluation and treatment if needed. Don’t have time to get by the library?  No problem, we offer free anonymous mental health screenings online year round that you can take from your computer, tablet or smartphone anytime 24/7/365. Just visit the website at screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/integris. How can you make a difference?
  1. Fight the stigma: Checking in on your mental health should be a common practice. Just as we have physicals each year to take care of our physical health, it’s important to check on your mental health, too.
  2. Spread the word: Awareness brings change. Help us spread the word by passing on this information to others.
  3. Take the challenge below: Screening for Mental Health, Inc.  (https://mentalhealthscreening.org/) has  created a 25 Day Challenge, made up of simple tasks that you can incorporate into your day, one day at a time. These easy challenges will improve your emotional wellness.
#25DaysofWellness Challenge DAY 1: Turn your phone off for 20 minutes today and spend that time going for a walk outside to enjoy nature. DAY 2: Take time to focus on your breathing throughout the day. Listen to your body’s cues. DAY 3: Focus on your senses today to help keep you in the moment. Spend an extra moment appreciating the smell of your coffee or the feeling of cool tile beneath your feet. DAY 4: Start a gratitude journal and write three things you’re grateful for or proud of yourself for doing today--even if it’s just getting through the day or asking for support. DAY 5: Today is about you. Prioritize yourself and your needs. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary! DAY 6: Helping others can boost your own well-being. Reach out to a friend in need today and pay attention to how you feel afterward. DAY 7: Set aside 25 minutes to work out today. Working out can help reduce your stress and feelings of anxiety and depression. DAY 8: Listen to your inner voice today. The majority of the time is it supportive? Disparaging? Write these inner thoughts down--they will be important for tomorrow’s activity. DAY 9: Now that you’ve written down your thoughts, when you have a negative one, try to catch it, challenge it, and change it. It’s not easy to change this pattern of behavior, but replacing your negative thought with a supportive or understanding one is a good first step. DAY 10: Be aware of how you talk about mental illness. Avoid using words like “crazy” or “insane” as insults today and encourage friends to do the same. DAY 11: Get involved in mental health advocacy where you live. DAY 12: Research mental health legislation and contact your representatives on issues you feel strongly about. DAY 13: Learn the symptoms of #depression DAY 14: Mental health and physical health have lots of connections. One is eating healthy! Try to eat a piece of fruit at every meal today. DAY 15: Visit a farmer’s market in your community and stock up on fresh and local produce. The time outdoors is good for your mental health and so is the food! DAY 16: Download a meditation app and take a few minutes to find a more relaxed and healthier state of mind. DAY 17: Develop a consistent sleep routine. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and keep track of how many hours of sleep you’re getting. DAY 18: Reach out to a friend. Stay in touch with loved ones. Schedule a lunch date or meet for coffee. Keeping up with friends helps to improve your mood. DAY 19: Spend time with your pet. Taking care of a pet can have a calming influence on you and reduce stress. DAY 20: You know that video that has made you belly laugh? Find it and watch it today. Laughter can reduce anxiety and decrease stress. DAY 21: Reduce your caffeine intake, even by one cup. Reducing caffeine can help lower stress and allow you to get a better night’s sleep. DAY 22: Color. Coloring channels your nervous energy and allows you to relax. DAY 23: Write a thank you note or a letter to a friend or relative. Think of someone who has made a positive difference in your life and let them know! DAY 24: Try to keep alcohol use to a minimum and avoid all drugs. Alcohol can negatively affect sleep and our mood. While it may provide a temporary mood boost, over time, alcohol can increase depression. DAY 25: Check in on your mental health today by taking a quick, anonymous online screening at http://helpyourselfhelpothers.org

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