For Immediate Release November 19, 2018

Anxiety. Chronic disease. Depression. Suicide. While these may not be comfortable topics for people to discuss, they are all vitally important to an individual's health.

On November 28, the University of Maryland Medical System and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) are bringing together health experts, individuals with first-hand experiences, and community members for the free "Not All Wounds Are Visible – Community Conversations: Let's Talk About Depression and Anxiety" event to discuss these issues. This is the fourth in a series of "Not All Wounds Are Visible – A Community Conversation' sessions, which have previously focused on Mental Health and Substance Abuse (June 2017), Addiction and Substance Abuse (November 2017) and Depression and Anxiety In Women and Children (May 2018).

Subject matter experts will facilitate conversations about the impact of depression and anxiety on men, seniors and those managing chronic disease. Suicide prevention and resilience and recovery will also be discussed. This free event provides an opportunity to hear from and talk to health care professionals and community leaders, including Washington D.C. attorney and author Joshua Rogers and Bowie City Councilman Michael Esteve, about depression and anxiety and the road to recovery.

Retired Baltimore Ravens running back and Super Bowl XXXV champion Jamal Lewis is the keynote speaker. He will share lessons learned along his journey from the bright light of stardom to the shadows of depression and thoughts of suicide, as he redefined himself after the "cheerleaders" in his life disappeared.

"Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and it's common for someone with depression to also suffer from anxiety," said William T. Regenold, M.D.C.M., Associate Professor, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director, Geriatric Psychiatry, University of Maryland Medical Center. "While the causes of anxiety and depression are as different as people are, for men, social norms around masculinity can make these topics difficult to talk about."

A 2018 study in the journal JAMA Psychiatry revealed that 30 percent of men have suffered from a period of depression in their lifetime. Nine percent of men in the United States have daily feelings of depression or anxiety according to data from the National Health Interview Survey, yet only one in four spoke to a mental health professional.

"Older adults are at risk of misdiagnosis and lack of treatment because some of their symptoms can mimic normal age-related issues or be mistakenly attributed to other illnesses, medications, or life changes," added Adam Rosenblatt, M.D., Director of Geriatric Psychiatry at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health in Harford County. "Elderly patients might also be reluctant to talk about their feelings or fail to understand that physical symptoms can be a sign of depression."

Additional Stats:

  • Anxiety affects as much as 10 to 20 percent of the older population, although it often remains undiagnosed, according to the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation.
  • A recent study from the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that more than 27 percent of older adults under the care of an aging service provider have symptoms of anxiety that may not amount to a diagnosed disorder, but significantly affect their functioning.
  • People with depression are three times more likely to develop chronic pain or pain that lasts beyond the typical time it takes for an illness or injury to heal. It is important for anyone with a chronic condition to discuss persistent sad, anxious or "empty" mood feelings with their health care provider so that their physical and mental health can be managed together.
  • The United States saw a 25 percent increase in suicides across all ages and genders between 1999 and 2016, and suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. o The highest suicide rate is among adults between 45 and 54 years of age, and the second highest rate is among those 85 years or older.
    • Nearly 121 people commit suicide in the U.S. every day, with men being four times more likely than women to commit suicide, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
    • The World Health Organization reports that 75 percent of people with mental disorders remain untreated, with almost 1 million people turning to suicide each year.
    • According to research by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 90 percent of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and potentially treatable illness including depression, anxiety, and alcohol or other substance use.

The November 28th event is designed for community members to hear from and ask questions of physicians and other health care professionals. Visit for a complete list of program speakers and to register for this free conversation, or call 1-800-492-5538.

Live satellite viewings will be available in Cheverly in coordination with UM Capital Region Health and at the Charles County Health Department annex building in White Plains in coordination with UM Charles Regional Medical Center.

About the University of Maryland Medical System

The University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) is a university-based regional health care system focused on serving the health care needs of Maryland, bringing innovation, discovery and research to the care we provide and educating the state's future physician and health care professionals through our partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the UM Schools of Nursing, Pharmacy, Social Work and Dentistry in Baltimore. As one of the largest private employers in the State, the health system's 28,000 employees and 4,000 affiliated physicians provide primary and specialty care in more than 150 locations and at 14 hospitals. UMMS' flagship academic campus, the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, is recognized regionally and nationally for excellence and innovation in specialized care. Our acute care and specialty rehabilitation hospitals serve urban, suburban and rural communities and are located in 13 counties across the State. In addition, UMMS operates health insurance plans serving Medicare and Medicaid members. For more information, visit

About the University of Maryland, Baltimore

Founded in 1807, the University of Maryland, Baltimore is Maryland's only public health, law, and human services university, dedicated to excellence in education, research, clinical care, and public service. UMB enrolls 6,500 students in six nationally ranked professional schools — medicine, law, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, and social work — and an interdisciplinary Graduate School. The university provides more than $40 million each year in uncompensated care to Maryland citizens, and receives more than $500 million in extramural research funding annually. For more information about the University of Maryland, Baltimore visit