What is the issue?
With the growth in our aging population, mental health problems and illnesses among older adults are likely to affect every family. If not addressed, the increasing pressure on the health-care system will have significant social and economic impacts.
To meet this challenge, community-based services and primary care providers have a vital role in helping people to stay mentally well and manage mental health problems and illnesses as they age.
Services and policies to support their care must also seek to reduce the overlapping stigmas they face: from being older and from living with a mental health problem or illness. Older adults from the 2SLGBTQ+ community and other backgrounds or cultures may encounter additional stigma.
What are we doing?
We have developed a range of projects to help policy makers, service providers, and caregivers ensure that older Canadians get the mental health supports they need.
Guidelines and tools
- Guidelines for Comprehensive Mental Health Services for Older Adults in Canada (Guidelines) is designed to help policy makers and service providers plan, develop, and implement a mental health service system that better responds to the aging population.
- Summary: Guidelines for Comprehensive Mental Health Services for Older Adults in Canada
- Compendium of Good Practices for Improving Seniors Mental Health in Canada, a resource to support the implementation of the Guidelines
- Supporting Older Adults: Using Principles and Values to Promote Best Practice, a checklist designed to help individuals and organizations put the Guideline’s principles and values into action.
- Applying the Guidelines for Comprehensive Mental Health Services for Older Adults in Canada during COVID-19, a resource discussing how the Guidelines can be leveraged in a COVID-19 context
Taking care of health-care workers
- Addressing psychosocial factors for long-term care workers during COVID-19, a brief that offers policy change considerations to better support long-term care workers’ psychological well-being.
- Advancing psychological health and safety within health-care settings. Learn why protecting and promoting the mental health of health-care workers is crucial to sustaining our system of care.
Mental Health First Aid
MHFA Seniors is a course to increase the capacity of older adults and their families (informal caregivers), friends, care-setting staff, and communities to promote mental health.
Mental health promotion
- Age-friendly communities (from the Public Health Agency of Canada)
- Fountain of Health
- Living Life to the Full (from the Canadian Mental Health Association – Ontario)
E-mental health with stepped care
Informing the Future
Mental Health Indicators for Canada
The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) has developed a range of projects to help policy makers, service providers, and caregivers ensure that older Canadians get the mental health supports they need.
People 65 years and older, especially men, have a high risk of suicide. As Canada’s largest population group, the baby boomers, approach the plus 65 age range, we may see…
This three-part webinar series, co-hosted by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, focuses on emerging research about the impact of legalization for a range of priority populations across…
Serious impact from COVID-19 on mental health and substance use continues, especially among youth A new report from the series of Leger polls commissioned by the Mental Health Commission of…
While mental health in older adults is as important as mental health in any other stage of life, it does not always receive the attention and services that it requires….
The following principles and values are intended to guide the development of policies, programs, and services that promote and support the mental health of older adults, as well as programs…
While COVID-19 has amplified conversations about mental well-being, some older adults may be unwilling or unable to discuss how the pandemic has affected them psychologically. This difficulty poses a unique…
No one is immune to the psychological toll of COVID-19-related restrictions. For older adults, however, the heightened fear of contracting the virus, a sudden decrease in connectivity, or the loss…
Purpose Mental health and well-being are as important in older age as in other times of life. That is one reason the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) created Guidelines…