The Importance of Prevention and Intervention in Mental Health
May was Mental Health Awareness Month. Coming away from May, I believe it's important to treat every day as mental health awareness day. Raising awareness of mental health challenges, and the health and lifestyle problems that may come about from those challenges, should be continuous as you move down life's paths with your aging loved ones. It's all too easy to miss small changes and warning signs when you are so close to someone, yet it's also very hard to be 'on guard' every day looking out for indications that a problem might be just around the corner. The hard reality, everyone needs to be observant because potential long-term mental health issues might be mitigated if addressed through prevention, early intervention, and treatment
It's a shocking number, really, but one in five people will experience mental illness in their lifetimes! According to the WHO, a full 15% of people 60 and older suffer from mental illness.
Good mental health is a large factor in a person's overall feelings of well-being. Untreated mental health disorders in older adults can lead to diminished functioning, substance abuse, poor quality of life, and increased mortality. Research shows mental illness can even slow healing from physical illnesses.*
Right at Home can help older adults continue to thrive, grow, and enjoy life in the comfort of their own home by assisting with activities like reading, walking, and socializing. Engaging the mind, exercising the body, and maintaining social connections are all ways to enrich mental health and boost feelings of purpose, value, and meaning.
Learn more about mental health and aging at *Mental Health, Behavioral Health, and Counseling Resources. “Ten Facts About Mental Health and Aging.” Older Women’s League (OWL); 1-800-825-3695.