If you are in distress, you can text WELLNESS to 741741 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.

HomeWhat We DoOlder Adult Mental Health and Well-being

Older Adult Mental Health and Well-being

What is the issue?

People 65 and older make up about 20 per cent of Canada’s population (and growing). But the data on risk level or how many are experiencing mental health concerns and conditions is lacking. What we do know is that older adults face health, support, and environmental barriers that limit their ability to achieve the best mental health and care outcomes.Two elderly people walking through the forest.

According to the World Health Organization, the mental health of older adults is often overlooked due to health scenarios that complicate prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and management.

For those in equity-deserving groups, additional barriers further marginalize them within their social and care environments. Given Canada’s increasing diversity, it’s essential to recognize, understand, and address how stigma and discrimination are impacting their experience.

Fast facts

What are we doing?

Contributed to the UN Decade of HealtUN Decade of Healthy Ageinghy Ageing

Read our explainer to learn about evidence-based strategies that bring the mental health and wellness focus to the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing’s four action areas. In which we show how improvements can be made for older adults in the Canadian context.

Guidelines and tools to better support older adult mental health

Taking care of health-care workers

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

Related Initiatives
MHFA Seniors

Mental Health First Aid – Supporting Older Adults

Improving Access

E-mental health with stepped care

Engaging Caregivers
Informing the Future

Mental Health Indicators for Canada

Recovery

Resources

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.

The high cost of living in Canada has led to increased financial insecurity, pressures on food and housing affordability, and income inequality —which all significantly impact mental health and well-being.

The high cost of living in Canada has led to increased financial insecurity, income inequality, and pressures on food and housing affordability — which all significantly impact mental health and well-being.

Understanding the issue While people ages 65 and older make up about 20% of Canada’s population (a significant yet growing portion), there is limited data on how many are at…

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…