Shine from Yahoo posted an article which I read today, by Liz Brody on October 6, 2010, "6 Surprising Signs of Depression". They include, "1. Achy joints and other unexplained pain, 2. Gut reaction, 3. Diving into work, 4. Interviewing but not getting the job, 5. Paranoid thoughts and 6. Not being in the mood." For the entire article click here.
The article stated:
"These signs are some of the lesser-known symptoms of depression. which affects nearly 1 out of 10 Americans, according to CDC figures released just in time for National Depression Screening Day. Throughout the country today, October 7, you can get a free, anonymous mental health evaluation at one of 1,500 facilities or by taking a three-minute test online (click here to get started)."
I clicked on the "(click here to get started)" and it didn't work for me in Michigan and gave me a long list of errors. I recalled yesterday afternoon I had received an email at work with the subject, "NATIONAL DEPRESSION SCREENING DAY IS OCTOBER 7, 2010". I had deleted the email.
Today after reading the article on Shine, I decided I would recover the email from my trash and see what it said. The email read as follows:
"The...Employee Service Program invites you to take advantage of a free, anonymous depression self-assessment. Feeling good mentally is as important as feeling good physically, and learning to identify your moods and manage stress is important to your well-being.
If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, visit http://www.mentalhealthscreening.org/screening (keyword “espmi”). Screenings for depression can also be completed by calling 1-800-887-5676 and using the touch-tone keypad to respond to pre-recorded questions. You will receive immediate customized feedback. Screenings are not a professional diagnosis, but point out the presence or absence of symptoms and provide referral information for further evaluation if needed.
There is no real health without mental health, so take advantage of the free, anonymous screenings and start feeling better."
I clicked on the attached link and this is where I was directed and the response I received:
"403 - Forbidden: Access is denied.
You do not have permission to view this directory or page using the credentials that you supplied."
All I can say at this point, I am glad that I do not believe that I am struggling with Depression. I can't even begin to imagine being depressed and attempting to take the necessary steps to anonymously self-screen on National Depression Screening Day to be denied not only once but twice!
Of course after laughing at the irony of my own situation, I did become rather upset for those that are struggling with Depression, especially undiagnosed Depression. So I decided to respond to the email that I received at work by saying the following:
I just wanted to thank you for the "invite" for the free screening.
I decided to take the free screen. Fortunately for me, I do not feel depression is an issue for me, I was more curious as to the actual screen. While it isn't Friday the 13th or April Fools Day, I do find it completely inappropriate and even humiliating for those that may consider that they actually have an issue and were seeking a confidential screen.
This is the response I received when I clicked on the assessment link:
403 - Forbidden: Access is denied.
You do not have permission to view this directory or page using the credentials that you supplied.
I even signed the email with all of my contact "signature" information. Pretty big step for me to actually address an issue that I wasn't faced with in person. So I was surprised when I received an immediate response with the subject:
"Item to Massmail was undeliverable, subject: Re: NATIONAL DEPRESSION SCREENING DAY IS OCTOBER 7, 2010"
The content of the email read as follows:
"User not on post office
Error = D101"
Wow. Really? This whole situation is no laughing matter and after all of that, I'm almost feeling Depressed by not being allowed access to free screens of Depression. I do hope that my experiences were isolated and anyone struggling with or suffering from Depression is able to receive the necessary help. I would definitely suggest using the phone number provided and I hope that you receive more than a busy signal or being put on hold indeterminately.