2006_04_takecare.gifThe city's Department of Health and Metnal Hygiene revealed 750,000 New Yorkers had "frequent mental distress" in 2005, which is measured at 13% of NYers living in the city. This is higher than the NY State or national average, which is about 10%. The DoH conducted a phone survey, and those who said that their mental health was "not good" for 14 or more days were classified as "frequently mentally distressed." According to other DoH studies, the poor and chronically unemployed tend to have worse mental health, so one big barrier to treatment is cost; another barrier is thinking that treatment doesn't really work. The DoH wants to emphasize the mental health issues like depression are serious and should be diagnosed, and now wants doctors to ask about depression when treating patients. This is interesting, because people are probably more willing to discuss depression these days, thanks to therapy being more and more common and acceptable (Monk, the "defective" detective, is really popular on USA and his visits with his psychiatrist are sometimes the best parts of the show), and still, NYers show a higher incidence - maybe those rush hour subway rides do have a deleterious effect on all of us!

Depression is one of the ten things the DoH wants New Yorkers to address in order to Take Care, New York. You can contact 311 for more information about treating depression. And a Monk fun fact: The writers are based in...New Jersey.