Mental Health Awareness Month is celebrated in May to educate the public that mental health is part of overall health and that appropriate treatment helps individuals live healthier, happier and more productive lives. While mental health concerns effect people of all ages, these concerns are often overlooked when it comes to older adults. People often feel that these mental health issues are a normal part of aging so they don’t seek help.
According to the CDC 15-20% of adults older than age 65 in the US have experienced depression and 20% of adults age 55 and older have some sort of mental health disorder. Older adults are 12% of the population but account for 18% of all suicides according to more recent statistics.
Depression is not a normal part of aging and living with untreated depression presents a serious health problem. Depression complicates other major medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. This increases health care costs, and often increases functional impairment and disability. Early identification and treatment can make a big difference in the successful management of a mental illness and recovery.
At Pinckneyville Community Hospital, the Senior Life Solutions program looks to provide mental health counseling, nursing and psychiatric services for older adults who are struggling with adapting to the physical and emotional transitions that can accompany the aging process. They provide individual and group counseling for patients to help with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues. Patients are typically seen by a board-certified psychiatrist within one week of the initial assessment. A follow-up program with an alumni group meeting is held once per month after discharge.
If you or a loved one is experiencing depression, unresolved grief, anxiety, nervousness, worry, loss of pleasure in usual activities, isolation, loneliness, difficulty coping or concentrating, sleep or appetite changes, anger, low or no self-esteem or feelings of hopelessness, we can help! For more information, call Senior Life Solutions at 618-357-8811.
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