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July 15, 1988

Initiative Aims to Bring Depression Out of Shadows, Spurs Help-Seeking

JAMA. 1988;260(3):309-310. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410030017003

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A NEW PUBLIC HEALTH campaign now getting under way is intended to bring a common disorder out of the closet in a fashion similar to the way that public health officials sought to make an invisible disorder—hypertension—visible in the 1970s. In this case, however, educators and physicians alike will have to overcome the cultural stigma attached to mental illness.

The campaign, known as Depression/ Awareness, Recognition, and Treatment (D/ART), will seek to inform the public about the symptoms and nature of clinical depression, the potential for effective treatment, and the importance of seeking help.

Five Centers  In addition to the public information effort, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Rockville, Md, has funded five centers around the country to develop short training courses for primary care physicians, mental health professionals, and social workers in their regions. Those centers are located at schools of medicine at the University of Arizona,