Issue #8: Mental Health and Substance Abuse

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Issue #8: Mental Health and Substance Abuse

Mental health issues and substance abuse are on the rise in the seniors’ population. These seem to be increasing in the era of COVID-19, particularly with social isolation and loneliness. Yet, stigma and lack of care options for seniors remain barriers to treatment and well-being.

Recommendation #26: Psychogeriatrics

Invest in sector capacity building specifically for psychogeriatrics. Increase grants, placements, and medical fellowships to increase the number of psychogeriatricians in Canada. Allocate more funding towards allied healthcare professionals to develop expertise in geriatric mental health and addictions.

Recommendation #27: Screening

Regularize screening for depression and anxiety for older adults, particularly in isolated, long-term, or congregate care settings.

Recommendation #28: Grief Supports

Develop community-based grief programs and supports.

Recommendation #29: Research

Invest in academic and community-based research to better understand how older adults’ mental health and addictions present, and differ from, that of younger people.

Recommendation #30: Education and Destigmatization

Develop and implement more educational programs for Canadian seniors about mental health to reduce the associated stigma.

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