New Year, New Mood: Assess Your Mental Health

As a new year approaches, many of us turn our thoughts toward ways to improve — be it our finances, our weight, or our well-being.

For those seeking to achieve a healthier, happier life, consider assessing your emotional well-being. You can do so anonymously, for free, with an online assessment tool available at Memorial Counseling Associates (MemorialCounselingAssociates.org) and Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois (MHCCI.org).

Online self assessments are available for depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and adolescent depression. Community resources, services and informative articles can also be found at the above websites.

Depression, anxiety and other mood disorders are serious, sometimes invisible, conditions, and the stigma associated with them can prevent people from seeking help and getting treatment that could greatly improve their mental health, said Jan Gambach, president of MHCCI.

The online assessment is completely anonymous and involves answering a series of questions that may include:

·         Have you lost pleasure in things you used to enjoy?
·         Do you have trouble sleeping or eating?
·         Does your mood fluctuate from overly “high” to sad and hopeless?
·         Are you keyed up and anxious all the time?
·         Do you suffer from unexplained aches and pains?
·         After completing the assessment, immediate feedback will be provided, as well as information on how to access local treatment resources, and links to related articles and resources.

“This tool will be of great value to people who are concerned that they or their loved ones are suffering from emotional problems, but are not sure whether or not it is symptomatic of mental illness,” Gambach said.