October National Depression Month

October is national Depression Education and Awareness Month. To honor this fact, we thought we’d highlight some of the major national mental health policy initiatives and funding that have taken place during this year, which has been a busy one for behavioral health.

One major focus has been on crisis care and suicide prevention. At Perry Wellness Center, we always promote suicide awareness, as suicide remains one of the leadings causes of death among American youth and adults. In 2020, approximately 46,000 individuals died by suicide in the U.S.


To impact suicide prevention, a national crisis response system has been established and is being implemented. Funding is being provided to develop such programs through planning grants, and all states that implement a “qualified mobile crisis intervention option” are eligible for additional funding. 

Readers may already have heard about the new, nationwide three-digit code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The “988” code is the equivalent of “911” in providing more immediate response to psychiatric emergencies and for suicidal individuals needing a quick local response. By definition, a completely developed crisis response system includes providing individuals someone to talk to and/or a safe place to go for evaluation, stabilization, and needed follow-up.

Additionally, the CDC has announced a new Comprehensive Suicide Program, with special attention to disproportionately affected populations; e.g., veterans, rural areas, etc.

To read more about programs and funding in process to reduce and prevent suicide, as well as other initiatives to provide mental health support, check out the online Fact Sheet: Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month 2022. This article was originally published to celebrate this May designation. You may also wish to check out depression awareness activities and themes for non-profit organizations such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

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