A Petitcodiac, N.B. woman battling depression is encouraging Canadians to take an online test that promises to identify symptoms like hers.
Janna Lounsbury says that Canadians who think they may be suffering from mental illness should take an online national survey offered by the Calgary Counselling Centre to help people identify the signs of depression.
“It gives a person the opportunity to go online and do the online survey and see what their symptoms are and see what the results are and also give them a better understanding (of how mental illness presents itself),” she said.
Lounsbury has decided to share her story in honour of Canada’s Mental Illness Awareness Week.
She hopes it will help others who may be feeling like she did when she first began experiencing her symptoms; scared, anxious and depressed.
At one point she said she honestly thought she was losing her mind.
“I was very antsy, very panicky. I would have panic attacks like shortness of breath, I felt like I could not breathe,” said Lounsbury.
She says even started to have suicidal thoughts and was too ashamed to talk about it openly.
Counsellor Michelle Keough, with the Calgary Counselling Centre, says that the survey’s anonymous test asks a series of screening questions related to depressive symptoms.
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Based on a person’s score further evaluation by a medical professional may be recommended.
“It is definitely not a self-diagnosing tool. It’s more of a self-reflective tool to just reflect on tools on these question and from there you are encouraged to seek further treatment,” said Keough.
“I hope that the tool will encourage people to do a mental health emotional check in with themselves.”
Last year, 44 per cent of the 10,000 people surveyed were recommended for evaluation.
According to statistics provided by the Calgary Counselling Centre, 4.5-million Canadians experience a mental health issue in their lifetime.
The online testing is available across Canada until Oct. 8th.