Depression Advocate Michael Phelps

young man with depression sitting near a river during sunset silhouette

At the end of last month and at the beginning of June, we focused heavily on post-traumatic stress disorder. Which makes sense. Considering the passing of Memorial Day and that many people suffering from the symptoms of PTSD also have a co-occurring mental health disorder, such as addiction. What’s more, June is National PTSD Awareness Month, a time for everyone to have an active role in encouraging people to talk about and seek help for the debilitating mental illness; which, left untreated, is a sure path to both substance use and suicide.

PTSD, without a doubt, is a serious problem in America and abroad. But, it cannot be stressed enough how pervasive other forms of mental health disorders that often accompany addiction are, such as depression. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that more than 300 million people worldwide are living with depression. Calling the condition the number one cause of poor health on the planet.

With that in mind, our hope at 10 Acre Ranch is that more Americans will realize the importance of destigmatizing mental health conditions. Only by doing so can we encourage people who need help to get help. It is a fact, the majority of people living with a mental illness of any form have never been diagnosed. Without screening and treatment, people cope with their symptoms by any means necessary, often with drugs and alcohol. When those substances stop having the desired effect (as they always do at some point), suicide often follows.

Screening for Depression

Helping people get screened for mental illness has become the mission of Michael Phelps, who hopes to make waves outside the pool. Phelps was named the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) honorary chairperson of National Mental Health Awareness Day 2017, The Baltimore Sun reports. And now the Olympian, with more gold medals than anyone else in history, is on the board of directors of Medibio, an Australian-based medical technology company that’s developed a comprehensive test to help accurately diagnose depression and other forms of mental illness.

“I have personally experienced Medibio’s technology and believe it can help make a profound impact in diagnosing mental health and empowering people to seek the help and support they may need,” Phelps said in the company’s news release. “In sports, there is so much focus on the physical aspects of performance, and athletes are analyzed from head to toe. But for many athletes, mental health has not been a topic of focus, and the data analysis aspect of it has been missing up until now.”

The Digital Mental Health Platform is the world’s first FDA approved diagnostic test for mental illnesses like depression. The technology is non-intrusive, quick, objective, decisive and will (according to the Medibio) revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of mental health. The company believes that Phelps will be an important asset to the company, and the mental health community.

“His lifelong dedication to excellence in the pool, his advocacy for mental health, and his understanding of data-driven solutions will provide a great addition to our board,” Cosentino said in the release. “Michael’s significant public profile will raise substantial awareness of mental health challenges and the real, tangible solutions that Medibio’s diagnostics can provide.”

Depression and Addiction Treatment

It is quite common for people living with the debilitating symptoms of depression to also have an alcohol or substance use disorder. If you, or a loved one, are struggling with co-occurring mental health disorders, please contact 10 Acre Ranch today.