Advocacy and Public Awareness

Seniors’ mental health affects us all. More seniors are living longer. There is a high prevalence rate of mental illness and cognitive disorders among the elderly. Despite a growing need for an appropriate range of mental health services for seniors in long-term care settings and the community, our health care system is limited in its capacity to meet these needs. The Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health (CCSMH) is an active collaboration of national and provincial organizations and individuals who are committed to promoting seniors’ mental health by connecting people, ideas and resources.

The CCSMH is engaged in a growing number of advocacy activities that include national, provincial and local initiatives, writing position papers, influencing political leaders and creating educational tools and resources.

By connecting people, ideas and resources, the CCSMH is developing a collaborative advocacy strategy to create public awareness and influence policy development in service, education and research. Organizations and individuals possess a wealth of information and knowledge regarding seniors’ mental health. Through effective networking and collaboration, providers, consumers, educators, researchers and policy-makers can work together to accomplish goals they could not reach in isolation.

Visit the Research & Knowledge Exchange Network to access a database of seniors’ mental health researchers and research information, exchange information and ideas pertaining to seniors’ mental health, and link to key research stakeholder groups.

The CCSMH advocates for policies and programs to ensure high quality care and enhanced public understanding of related issues, including ageism and stigma. Stigma associated with mental illness may foster disrespect or disregard, instill fear of discrimination, and discourage individuals and their families from getting the help they need. Public education can dispel stigma as well as encourage people to seek treatment or support.

Additional Resources on this Topic