DaVita® Stories

DaVita Raises Awareness on World Mental Health Day

Today we recognize World Mental Health Day by helping raise awareness about the importance of mental health and the well-being of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end stage renal disease (ESRD).

Research indicates that individuals living with chronic medical conditions, such as CKD or ESRD, have an increased risk of depression. Depression can reduce a patient’s overall quality of life and can result in an increased risk of mortality if left untreated.

“Living with kidney disease can be difficult, especially at first because it’s a big change for patients and their loved ones,” said Duane Dunn, director of social work services for DaVita Kidney Care. “Our social workers know early intervention is key—we formally screen patients for depression twice a year and connect those struggling to the integrated services that can help them.”

Dunn also shared four ways patients with kidney disease can help manage mental health:

  1. Talk about how you’re feeling – If you are feeling down, anxious or having difficulty coping, talk about it with your social worker and your doctor. They can provide an assessment, supportive counseling and refer you for additional support services in your community.
  2. Seek counseling – Outpatient services are available at a variety of agencies and can be accessed by the local Department of Human Services/Community Mental Health. Inpatient services are typically available but reserved for individuals who are deemed to be at risk for harming themselves or others. If you or someone you know is a risk to themselves or someone else, contact your social worker or local Community Mental Health agency immediately.
  3. Find support groups – You are not alone in your struggles with kidney disease and dialysis. Whether you’re a kidney disease patient or a care partner, joining a support group is a great way to help manage your mental health. Find groups in your area by searching through the National Kidney Foundation® (NKF), Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) or asking a social worker. If you want to seek out online support from people in a similar situation, consider visiting the DaVita Forums.
  4. Talk to your doctor about medicines – Have a conversation with your doctor about medication that may help with depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions. Medication, such as an anti-depressant, can be most successful when used in combination with counseling or other support. Discuss your concerns with your doctor, as you may have other treatable medical conditions occurring that can play a role in feelings of sadness or worry.

To learn more about depression and kidney disease, visit DaVita.com and listen to the podcast Mental Health in End Stage Renal Disease Patients: Challenges and Solutions here: http://blogs.davita.com/medical-insights/2018/09/20/podcast-mental-health-end-stage-renal-disease-patients-challenges-solutions/.

World Mental Health Day was initiated by the World Federation for Mental Health and has been celebrated on Oct. 10 every year since 1992. It is dedicated to highlighting global mental health awareness, education and advocacy to reduce social stigma. Learn more at wfmh.global.

DaVita Stories Team

DaVita Stories Team

The DaVita Stories Team is a group of teammates excited to bring you the latest news from around the Village and show you what makes DaVita a special place.