World Mental Health Day

October 10th is an important day in Elmwood Hills Healthcare Center’s calendar. That’s because October 10th is World Mental Health Day.

seniors in good mental health

But why does the world need a mental health day?

Here’s what the World Health Organization (WHO) has to say:

“World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The Day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.”

Mental Health Issues Among the Elderly

So, which mental health issues do seniors tend to face?

Here’s the breakdown of disorders for adults aged 60 and up around the world, according to the WHO:

  • Depression – 7%
  • Dementia – 5%
  • Anxiety disorders – 3.8%
  • Substance use issues – almost 1%

And here’s a shocking finding, “around a quarter of deaths from self-harm are among people aged 60 or above.

With these numbers it’s clear that mental health among seniors is a major concern that needs to be addressed and dealt with appropriately. Good thing they made a worldwide day of observance and a Mental Health Month.

Barriers to Mental Health Care

Unfortunately, though, there are a number of hills to climb before mental health care can be a reality even for people living in the United States.

According to an article in U.S. News & World Report, “access to proper mental health care for older adults is hindered by modern culture perpetuating the stigmas and misconceptions of ageism and mental health issues; social isolation; high health care costs; and a dwindling supply of geriatric caregivers for America’s growing older population.”

What can we do?

Let’s make an effort this World Mental Health Day to support our elders and change the way we look and speak about mental health.

By becoming more knowledgeable about mental health, we can combat some of the “stigmas and misconceptions” holding our venerable seniors from getting they help they need and deserve.

What can you do to support seniors on World Mental Health Day?

Please share in the comments below.

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