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General News · 4th April 2024
Mercedes Grant
Mental Health and Well-Being As We Age

With the global landscape in particularly acute turmoil, from climate and biodiversity collapse to political chaos and increasing cost of living crises and an on-going pandemic, itís understandable that so many of us are navigating challenging mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

Some might say that we are untouched by these issues on this tiny rock in the Salish sea, but the evidence and lived experience of many points to a different reality. Instead, we have a unique opportunity to foster a culture of inclusion and relative safety here, by facing these realities head on.

Highlighting healthy coping mechanisms for folks moving into their senior years is especially important within a toxic system that overtly reinforces aging as the end of usefulness and creativity. Itís never too late in life to consider adopting tools to support mental health and well-being.

While there seems to be a deluge of academic research into aging and mental health, there is actually still quite a void of practical resources for folks in this country. To help wade through what is available, you can find listed below a number of resources to help combat social isolation, depression and anxiety, in addition to highlighting resources for folks who are particularly at risk within colonial systems of oppression.

Lastly, itís important to consider that mental health is simply one aspect of the whole body, and is not separate from physical and emotional health and well-being. It is recommended to take a look at our past articles to learn more about physical and emotional health as we age, and consider the resources that are available.

READ & LISTEN: Rural Mental Wellness Toolkit - Meditations and Reading Material
https://ruralmentalwellness.com/caring-for-seniors/

READ: Mental Fitness Toolkit for Seniors

https://www.wellnessnb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Mental-Fitness-for-Seniors-ToolKit-EN.pdf
https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/toolkit-mental-fitness-for-seniors-toolkit

READ: Cooking Up Calm: Recipes for Mental Health

https://mcusercontent.com/87a06d9275/files/e40390c4-731c-645f-7e99-81f865fcd7c5/cooking_up_calm_singles.pdf?mc_cid=0658934550

WATCH: Aging and Mental Health - Webinar Recording
https://youtu.be/Tw7Wwd9OD6Y

READ: Prevention of Suicide in Older Adults // Tools for Seniors and Families - PDF

https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/resource-prevention-of-suicide-in-older-adults

READ: Active Aging Canada Resources Listing
https://www.activeagingcanada.ca/other-resources.htm


LISTEN: Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery for Seniors - Podcast

https://www.mentalhealthandaging.com/podcast/mental-health-substance-abuse-recovery-for-seniors/

https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/caring-seniors-rural-mental-wellness-toolkit

READ: How To Begin a Formal Mindfulness Practice
https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/how-to-begin-a-formal-mindfulness-practice

READ: Coping With Challenging Emotions Practice
https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/coping-with-challenging-emotions-mindfulness-practice

WATCH: Loving Kindness Mindfulness Practice
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVzSbdNrX4E

READ: Breathwork for Healing - Blog (written by M.Grant)
https://www.breathworkforrecovery.com/blog/breathwork-for-healing

READ: Breathwork for Relaxation - Blog (written by M.Grant)
https://www.breathworkforrecovery.com/blog/breathing-techniques-for-relaxation

WATCH & READ: How To Be At Home - About Social Isolation, Book & Film
https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/book-how-be-home
https://www.nfb.ca/film/how-to-be-at-home/?fbclid=IwAR1HSqDrf-MzKFJqGki7d_LYrorWV3Wa3UUhJ3muIYRVMFvg59rW1ch0_ok

READ: ďStill Here, Still QueerĒ PDF

This handbook supports fostering affirming spaces and services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer older adults and presents best practice recommendations for the inclusion of LGBTQ older adults through the use of case studies and educational resources. It is informed by the lived experiences and organizing work of older LGBTQ communities and their allies.

LINK: https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/still-here-still-queer-handbook-affirming-lgbtq-older-adults

READ: First Nations Health Authority // Mental Health Support - PDF

https://www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-Mental-Health-and-Cultural-Supports.pdf

READ: Indigenous Mental Health - List of Resources
https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/indigenous-mental-health-resources

READ & WATCH: Menís Shed Concept // Gatherings for Menís Mental Health

WATCH: Menís Shed Around The World - Webinar Recording

https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/recorded-webinar-mens-shed-movement-around-world

Menís Shed Toolkit Canada - How To Start a Menís Shed Gathering
https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/mens-sheds-canada-toolkit-starting-growing-sheds

LISTEN: The Mind-Body Connection - Why Age Is Nothing But a Mindset, Dr. Ellen Langer - Podcast
https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/podcast-the-mind-body-connection-the-power-of-mindfulness-why-age-is-nothing-but-a-mindset-dr-ellen-langer-2

WATCH: Climate Change & Well-Being - Recording
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87BI8wC0yiA
WATCH: Social Isolation and Aging - An Introduction to Risk Factors and Responses
https://bc.healthyagingcore.ca/resources/webinar-social-isolation-and-aging-introduction-risk-factors-and-responses

READ: Canadian Coalition for Seniorís Mental Health
https://ccsmh.ca/find-support/

Cortes Island Walking Group //

DATE: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
TIME: 9:00am - 9:30am/10:00am
LOCATION: meet at Mansonís Hall parking lot

If youíre in need of physical and social support in your home, you can sign up for the Better at Home Program, and weíll set you up with some help! It is free for low income seniors, and market rate for seniors with an income above the BC average. You can read more about it here: https://www.cortesisland.com/tideline/show15772a46s0x50y1z/Better_at_Home_Update__August_2023