CORNWALL — With an estimated 17 to 30 percent of older adults suffering from a mental health disorder, the Ontario government says it is protecting what matters most by supporting the development of a new Seniors Mental Health and Addictions educational program.
The government will be investing $250,000 to develop and deliver, with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), a new resource to help respond to the rising rates of mental health and addiction issues amongst seniors in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry (S-D-SG).
This educational program is being designed with seniors in mind after consulting with CAMH and other clinical subject matter experts, as well as community mental health and addictions service providers. Components of the program will include resource materials and a workshop series, which will educate seniors on common risk factors and prevention strategies, signs and symptoms of mental health and addiction issues, and how to access appropriate supports. It will be delivered across the province in community settings such as Seniors Active Living Centres by in-person facilitators with expertise in mental health and addictions in early 2020.
“We are taking action to improve the dignity and quality of life for all seniors in Ontario,” said Jim McDonell, Member of Provincial Parliament for Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry. “This new program will educate seniors on common risk factors and prevention strategies, signs and symptoms of mental health and addiction issues, and how to access appropriate supports in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.”
“Our government is investing in frontline services by funding new mental health programs and services for seniors across the province,” said Minister of Health and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott. “This funding will fill critical gaps as we develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health strategy that better supports the complex needs of seniors.”
“I look forward to working closely with Minister Elliott and Minister Cho to ensure that we provide effective mental health programs and services for our seniors,” said Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Michael Tibollo. “Too many of Ontario’s seniors have waited too long for the mental health services they require. By investing in frontline programs and services, we will continue moving forward to create a mental health system in Ontario that fully supports our seniors.”
This funding is part of the additional $174 million the government is providing this year to address critical gaps in services across Ontario and support patients and families living with mental health and addictions challenges.
As Ontarians aged 65 and older are the province’s fastest growing demographic, it is important to educate seniors in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry to help prevent and address mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, as well as alcohol addiction and opioid use disorder.
- Up to thirty percent of older adults aged 65 and up have a mental health disorder.
- The program’s workshop series will educate seniors on common risk factors and prevention strategies, signs and symptoms of mental health and addiction issues, and how to access appropriate supports.
- Canadian studies have found that rates of depression in long-term care facilities can be as high as 40 percent, and the rate of depression in older adults within hospitals range from 12 to 45 percent.
- According to The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, more than thirteen per cent of Canadians age 55 and older report a pattern of problematic binge drinking.
- Investments in mental health and addictions services is part of Ontario’s plan to modernize our public health care system, which relentlessly focuses on patient experience and better-connected care, to reduce wait times and end hallway health care.
- Ontario is committed to invest $3.8 billion over the next ten years to develop and implement a comprehensive and connected mental health and addictions strategy.