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What to Expect during an Evaluation for Depression

Our providers at Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) evaluate your symptoms to make a diagnosis. Screening tools such as written questionnaires about your recent emotions, feelings, and activities are commonly used. Our comprehensive psychiatric evaluations at HMHI take one to two hours.

Individual patient history is important for an accurate diagnosis. Specific diagnoses rely on a precise framework of symptom type and duration, so the more detailed history you can provide, the better. Bring a family member or friend to your appointment to give an outside perspective if you can.

No lab tests or imaging tools are used to diagnose depression. However, lab tests may be done to rule out other conditions that have symptoms similar to depression, such as hypothyroidism.

Why Choose HMHI?

At University of Utah Health, HMHI offers a full continuum of care for those suffering from depression. We provide mental health care through our clinics, outpatient/day treatment, and inpatient hospitalization. As an academic center, we focus on evidence-based treatment. HMHI is one of the only centers in the region that offers advanced depression treatments at our Treatment Resistant Mood Disorders Services clinic.

Our specially trained therapists and mental health providers are certified to care for patients throughout their life span. HHMI has treatment programs for children, teens, adults, and geriatric populations. We’re here to help you with all your mental health care needs.

Treatment Programs & Clinics at HMHI

At HMHI, we offer treatment for all levels and types of depression. Our outpatient clinics include:

Our outpatient clinics and programs include:

Our Farmington and Downtown locations also offer perinatal/maternal mental health services for women experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs), such as postpartum depression.

Hospital Inpatient Program

For patients who experience symptoms of severe depression and need immediate help to remain safe, we offer inpatient treatment in a hospital setting. Here, you will:

  • be monitored for safety,
  • be evaluated to make sure your diagnosis is accurate, and
  • receive the care you need to safely transition to an outpatient clinic.

Treatment Resistant Mood Disorders Clinic

Our Treatment Resistant Mood Disorders Clinic treats patients whose mood disorders, including depression, don’t respond to previous treatments. You’ll need a referral from your doctor to receive care until you reach a place of safety and stability. 

We also offer additional services through our crisis lines. Our crisis line staff can help you by offering:

Therapy for Depression

Depression Medication

There are many different types of antidepressant medications that your doctor can prescribe to help treat your symptoms. The main types of antidepressants are:

  • tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs),
  • monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs),
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs),
  • serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and
  • atypical antidepressants

You and your doctor will determine the best type of antidepressant for your treatment plan. They will monitor how it affects you and adjust your dosage as needed.

Treating Children & Teens for Depression

Programs & Treatments

HMHI offers the following treatment programs for children and teens struggling with mood disorders:

family smiling in therapy

How to Help Someone with Depression

Things you can do to help your loved one with depression include:

  • learning the symptoms of depression,
  • encouraging treatment and going with your loved one for support, and
  • identifying the warning signs for suicide risk.

Depression and Suicide

Depression can lead to suicide ideation. Unfortunately, this can occur with or without treatment. Your loved one may be at risk for suicide if they:

  • talk about committing suicide or wishing they were dead,
  • start contacting people to tell them lengthy goodbyes,
  • give away their belongings,
  • get the means to commit suicide (e.g., buy a gun or stockpile pills),
  • engage in risky behaviors like reckless driving, and
  • withdraw from social situations and self-isolate.

If you’re concerned about a suicide attempt, call the Utah Crisis Line (800-273-8255) for help right away. Make sure someone stays with the person until help arrives.

Family Member & Caregiver Resources

Depression affects more people than just the patient. When one person suffers from any type of depression, everyone around them suffers as well.

Several community groups are available to support affected family members. The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) is the largest support group of its kind in the country.

Mental Health Crisis Resources

We are here for you when you need us the most. Our team of professionals are trained in:

  • mental health crisis management,
  • suicide prevention, and
  • emotional wellness.

HMHI provides the following specialty programs and resources for you and your loved ones to prevent mental health crises and provide emotional support when needed.

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