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Divided Electorate United Over Depression

National Depression Screening Day® is October 11

Take a screening at

BOSTON, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A recent national poll of 1,021 Americans by Anderson Robbins Research on behalf of Screening For Mental Health, Inc., has found that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are almost equally likely to support a presidential candidate in the event they learned he/she suffered from depression. As the presidential race heats up ahead of Election Day on November 6, this agreement on the issue of depression and power stands in stark contrast to virtually every issue on the political radar.


"Right now, we're in the final stretch of a presidential campaign in which the gloves are off and emotions are running high," said Douglas G. Jacobs, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the founder of Screening for Mental Health®. "And yet there's this commonality of thought in the electorate that depression wouldn't be a crucial factor in their choice for president. This would indicate that we're headed in the right direction as far as public education about depression goes. Mental health screenings have certainly played a role in that and will continue to do so."

Overall, two-thirds (65 percent) of those surveyed say learning a presidential candidate had sought treatment for depression would have no impact on their vote. This includes over six-in-ten Democrats (61 percent), Republicans (66 percent) and Independents (67 percent).

Voters' confidence in voting for a president who received treatment for depression is likely due to the fact that most people think depression is treatable. The survey finds fully two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans believe that depression can be successfully treated most of the time. These results confirm that public education about this serious mental health issue is on the rise.

The survey also finds little stigma related to seeking treatment for depression. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of Americans would speak to a health care provider if they thought they were suffering from depression. Fully half (53 percent) of Americans know someone personally who has been treated for depression.

National Depression Screening Day is October 11. Through this event, individuals have the opportunity to take a free, anonymous, online mental health screening at or locate an in-person screening site.

Thousands of organizations across the country are hosting National Depression Screening Day events including hospitals, colleges, community centers and military installations. After completing a screening, participants receive referral information for local agencies that offer further evaluation and treatment. To find a screening site or to take an online screening, visit

Screening for Mental Health Inc. (SMH) is the non-profit organization that first introduced the concept of large-scale mental health screenings with its flagship program, National Depression Screening Day, in 1991. SMH programs include both in-person and online programs for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, alcohol problems, and suicide prevention.  SMH programs have been used by hospitals, mental health centers, social service agencies, government agencies, older adult facilities, primary care clinicians, colleges, secondary schools, corporations and military installations reaching individuals ranging from adolescents to older adults.

SOURCE Screening for Mental Health