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Today is World Mental Health Day

Wednesday October 10, 2018

Since 1992, October 10th has been dedicated to World Mental Health Day. Becoming more aware of mental health issues will help break the stigma surrounding mental illness. As well, it will encourage those who are living with a mental illness seek the appropriate treatment and support that they need.

Mental illness, such as depression, often impact an individual’s thought processes and behaviour, and they may experience:

  • Deep feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fears and worries
  • Withdrawal from friends, family and activities
  • Inability to cope with daily problems and stress
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Excessive anger, hostility or mood swings
  • Suicidal thinking or a complete detachment from reality

Unfortunately senior isolation is on the rise. Age, major life changes, health decline and other factors can contribute to an older person's feelings of loneliness and isolation. Some signs of senior isolation include:

  • Withdrawal from friends, family and activities
  • Reduced social skills
  • Deep feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fears and worries
  • Restless sleep and lack of appetite
  • Increased amount of time spent alone

Find out how Seniors for Seniors can help individuals and their families combat senior isolation by visiting our Drop-In Companions page

Caregiver burnout can come from caring for a loved one's needs before their own well-being. This can lead to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. Signs of caregiver burnout or caregiver fatigue include:

  • Withdrawal from friends, family and activities
  • Deep feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fears and worries
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion
  • Feelings of wanting to hurt themselves or the person who they are caring for
  • Changes in sleep patterns and getting sick more often

Spectrum Health Care has a Caregiver Self-Assessment which is availailable online. Once all the questions have been answered, the results from the assessment and caregiving tips will be provided.

supportive network is important to everyone but especially to individuals and families dealing with mental illness. This network includes both formal and informal relationships, such as:

  • Health care professionals
  • Social services agencies and mental health agencies
  • Places of worship
  • Workplace colleagues and employee assistance programs
  • Family, friends, neighbours and partners
  • People who share interests (teammates, club members etc.)
  • Online communities

For more information and resources about mental health, please visit:

Government of Canada: Mental Health Services

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Mental Health 101

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: Finding Help

Remember you are not alone. Let's work together to ensure that everyone feels valued and supported.

Sources:

https://www.canada.ca/en/national-seniors-council/programs/publications-reports/2014/social-isolation-seniors/page05.html

http://www.who.int/mental_health/world-mental-health-day/en/

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I have always been so impressed by the passion and commitment of our employees.  From the companions that I work with everyday in Simcoe-Muskoka, to those who looked after my Aunt in Toronto, each and every one has provided outstanding care to their clients.

Tom Johnston, Owner, Seniors For Seniors (Simcoe-Muskoka)