National Network of Depression Centers and Assurex Health Team up to Tackle Depression

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NNDC and Assurex Health Tackle Depression Campaign includes Advertorial, Social Media Campaign to Raise Awareness about the Stigma of Depression and Mental Illness

“It’s hard coming to the conclusion that you need help. Athletes in general, and football players in particular, we’re taught to be tough. It’s probably the most important aspect of your game.”--Greg Skrepenak, former NFL offensive lineman

The National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC), along with partner Assurex Health today announced the launch of #tackledepression, a national social media campaign to raise awareness that depression is a treatable illness, and the importance of talking about this health issue.

The #tackledepression social media campaign kicks off with a first time advertorial for the NNDC featured in the Super Bowl 50 special edition of USA Today.

The national print ad is a collaboration with bestselling sports author John U. Bacon, who interviewed former NFL player Greg Skrepenak, an offensive lineman who played for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and Carolina Panthers, who experienced and was treated for depression.

The advertorial explains that mental illnesses like depression and anxiety are often misunderstood as a weakness, a character flaw, or simply “feeling down” or nervous, which everyone experiences occasionally. However, the reality is that one in seven Americans will suffer from depression in their lifetime, including pro athletes, and that few people talk about it, afraid of the stigma associated with any mental illness.

“It’s hard coming to the conclusion that you need help,” Skrepenak said. “That’s where the difficulty lies. Athletes in general, and football players in particular, were taught to be tough. It’s probably the most important aspect of your game.”

“We can learn so much by listening to those courageous voices that we once saw as invulnerable yet who suffer as we all do—like our football heroes. They are showing us how we can remove stigma,” said NNDC founding Chair John F. Greden, M.D. “Our vision is one in which all patients with depression and bipolar illnesses receive stigma-free effective treatment and a better quality of life.”

The #tackledepression social media campaign outreach is being conducted by the NNDC, its affiliates across the country, and campaign partners, including Assurex Health, a leader in genetic testing that assists healthcare providers in getting patients experiencing depression and other behavioral health conditions on the right medication faster.

“It is the power of these partnerships that expedite scientific discovery, advance patient care, and improve quality of life for those with depression,” said Gina Drosos, President and Chief Executive Officer of Assurex Health. “And it is the power of voices like Greg Skrepenak‘s that will help end the stigma of mental illness.“

“If I didn’t seek help, I don’t know where I’d be. But I did, and I’m in a much, much better place,” Skrepenak said.

About National Network of Depression Centers
The National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) network of 24 leading clinical and academic Centers of Excellence in the U.S working to transform the field of depressive illnesses and related mood disorders.

The NNDC unites the nation’s leading academic institutions to advance knowledge, improve care and drive the national conversation. Find out more about the National Network of Depression Centers, and how you can help to support our mission.

About Assurex Health
Assurex Health is an informatics-based precision medicine company providing treatment decision support to healthcare providers for behavioral health and chronic pain conditions. It was founded in 2006 with licensed, patented technology from Mayo Clinic and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, who continue to be research collaborators. Powered by CPGxTM, a proprietary combinatorial pharmacogenomics technology, the company’s GeneSight test has been proven to more than double a patient’s likelihood of response to medications and reduce healthcare costs by more than $2,500 per patient per year.

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Sarah DeDiemar
Assurex Health
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