Speak Up: Break the Silence Around Senior Mental Health
As we age, it’s natural for our mental health to undergo changes. Whether caused by stress, anxiety, depression, or the aging process itself, it is important to acknowledge when we need help and seek support. Regrettably, there is often a stigma attached to mental health issues, which can prevent seniors from asking for help or discussing their struggles with others. Mental Health Awareness Month aims to raise consciousness about this issue and remind us that seeking assistance is a sign of strength, and that there are many resources available to support aging adults on their mental health journey.
Breaking the Silence. Ending the Stigma
The first step in addressing mental health concerns among seniors is to break the silence surrounding mental health. Seniors may feel isolated and alone in their struggles, and may not know where to turn for support. By speaking openly about mental health and acknowledging the challenges that seniors face, we can help to end the stigma and create a culture of acceptance and understanding.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
One of the most important things for seniors to remember is that it’s okay to ask for help. Seeking support does not make you weak or less capable. In fact, it takes strength and courage to recognize when you need assistance and to take action to improve your mental health. There are many resources available for seniors who need help, including:
- Mental Health Professionals: Seniors can seek support from mental health professionals such as therapists, counselors, or psychologists. These professionals can help seniors to address their mental health concerns and develop strategies to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health challenges.
- Support Groups: Support groups can provide a safe space for seniors to connect with others who are experiencing similar challenges. These groups can offer a sense of community and understanding, and can help older adults feel less alone in their struggles.
- Helplines: Seniors can also call helplines to speak with trained professionals who can offer support and guidance. Helplines are typically available 24/7 and can provide seniors with immediate help and resources. Here are some listed with the National Institute of Health: Health Info Lines | National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Online Resources: There are many online resources available for seniors who need mental health support. These resources can include articles, videos, podcasts, and online communities where seniors can connect with others and find support. Here are just a couple:
Mental Health Awareness Month is an opportunity to bring attention to the unique mental health struggles facing today’s seniors, particularly in light of the lingering effects of COVID-19. It is our collective responsibility to increase awareness about the resources available to those who are grappling with mental health concerns and to remind them that seeking help is an act of courage. By breaking the silence surrounding mental health and ending the stigma, we can help foster a culture of acceptance and understanding.
Mary Ann Morse Healthcare is a nonprofit organization that offers a continuum of senior living and healthcare services. Mary Ann Morse at Heritage provides assisted living, memory care, and mental health programs for today’s seniors. Mary Ann Morse Healthcare Center offers short-term outpatient and inpatient rehabilitation, as well as long-term care, including memory, respite, and hospice care. Mary Ann Morse Home Care provides 24/7 Medicare-certified skilled nursing and personal in-home care. As a nonprofit organization, we are deeply committed to our mission of helping seniors to live their best lives and to embrace healthy aging, no matter where they are on life’s journey.