Envisioning a world where mental health is viewed and treated with the same gravity as physical health.

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Douglas Jacobs, M.D.
Founder & Medical Director

In 1991, I had the idea to begin screening for depression much like my colleagues in the medical field were screening for physical diseases like cancer and diabetes. It’s important that we screen for mental illness because it allows us to identify these illnesses early on—making treatment more effective."

From that initial National Depression Screening Day in 1991, our programming and reach has expanded dramatically. In addition to National Depression Screening Day in October, we now also have National Alcohol Screening Day in April and the National Eating Disorders Program which is promoted annually during the National Eating Disorders Awareness Week—the last week of February.

In addition to these annual screening events, we have several educational screening programs targeted toward various demographics including teenagers, college students, the general adult population and seniors. Since our founding, thousands of organizations worldwide including hospitals, mental health centers, social service agencies, government agencies, military installations, older adult facilities, primary care clinics, colleges, secondary schools, corporations, and HMO's have utilized our educational and screening programs.

I encourage you to explore our website, learn more about the programs we offer, take a look at our educational resources and blog, and even take a mental health screening yourself. Educate yourself on the signs and symptoms of mental illness and join us as we strive to have mental health viewed and treated with the same gravity as physical health.

Timeline point

Screening for Mental Health Introduces the College SOS program. Screening for Mental Health Introduces the College Resiliency Program.

2014
Timeline point

Screening for Mental Health Launches Self-Injury Prevention Program. Screening for Mental Health Launches the Signs of Self-Injury Prevention Program.

2009
Timeline point

Congress passes the Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act. It requires that any limits to insurance coverage for mental illness be no more restrictive than those for physical health issues.

2008
Timeline point

Screening for Mental Health Launches the Military Pathways program. Screening for Mental Health Launches the SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program (Middle School). Fewer than 40,000 patients are living in psychiatric hospitals, a drop of more than 92% since the mid 1950s.

2006
Timeline point

Screening for Mental Health Launches the SOS Booster Program.

2005
Timeline point

Screening for Mental Health Launches the WorkplaceResponse® program for businesses and the CommunityResponse program for community organizations.

2002
Timeline point

Screening for Mental Health Launches the CollegeResponse® program for colleges and universities.

2001
Timeline point

U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Mental Health reveals that more than half of Americans struggle with some form of mental illness. At the same time, Screening for Mental Health launches National Alcohol Screening Day® and Feel Good Bingo®, a program for seniors.

1999
Timeline point

Mental Health America releases a nationwide study that revealed the top reasons individuals refused to seek help for anxiety disorders, the most common mental illnesses, which included shame, fear, and embarrassment.

1998
Timeline point

Screening for Mental Health Launches National Eating Disorders Screening Program®

1996
Timeline point

Screening for Mental Health Launches National Depression Screening Day

1991
Timeline point

Harry Truman passes the National Mental Health Act, which created the National Institute of Mental Health and allocated government funds towards research into the causes of and treatments for mental illness.

1946