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Depression Treatment For All: Thinking Outside the Box

An article on PsychCentral this week  (Screening, Home-Based Therapy Help Low-Income Moms Combat Depression) blew me away in two respects:

  • The study reviewed shows that screening for depression and providing therapy IN THE HOME can relieve depression in minority mothers. These were low-income women, unlikely and/or unable to attend therapy sessions if left to their own devices. Someone had the incredible insight to go where these women live and help them. The group studied, on average, experienced an improvement of scores on a widely used depression inventory – from 27 to 9.6 (a score of 19 or higher indicates major depression). These results remained in place eight months after the program ended.
  • The lead researcher, Dr. Sheree Toth said of the importance of depression screening, especially for high-risk populations, “When I go to the doctor, they ask me if I use my seatbelt. Why would we not be asking questions about depression when we know the chances of being hit by a car are way less than the chances of being hit by depression? People are suffering needlessly.”

It’s unusual to read of a depression study with such practicality, such impressive results, and such compassion. Framing the way we look at depression the way Dr. Toth has done is an enormous step in the right direction.



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