May 2, 2016

Mental Health Week is May 2 to 8

Mental Health Week is May 2 to 8. For 2016, the week focuses on seniors’ mental health.

According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada, one in four Canadian seniors has a mental health issue, and evidence suggests that mental illness in older adults is increasing. The most common problem seniors experience is depression. They may also experience anxiety, dementia or misuse of prescription medications. Some issues remain from earlier in life; others may develop during the senior years.

Unfortunately, seniors with mental health issues are often undertreated. The symptoms of mental health issues can be mistaken for other conditions, and the signs can show differently in seniors than in younger adults. Some seniors may also fear others’ reactions or believe it’s too late in life to change.

But seniors needn’t suffer alone with mental health problems. If you’re concerned about your mental wellness, you can use these strategies to seek advice, treatment or support.

  • Speak to your family doctor, who can help you or connect you to other professionals who can.
  • Seek help from friends and family, who can offer emotional support and assist you with finding services or booking appointments.
  • Seek support from others who have experienced a mental health concern. They may be able to suggest helpful resources or strategies.

For more information on seniors’ mental health, check out the Mental Health Commission of Canada website.