Understanding mental health and well-being in later life has developed a series of new and updated health promotion resources that integrate principles of cultural sensitivity, health equity, anti-racism, and inclusion for older adults across Ontario.
Older adulthood comes with many challenges. The combined effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions, including social distancing and isolation, pose considerable risk to the mental health and wellness of older adults in Ontario.
These resources respond to the challenges facing older adults and service providers by providing information about mental health and addictions, along with where they can access help.
The project team at the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) collaborated with community partners and subject matter experts to meet the needs of older adults from immigrant, refugee, ethnocultural, and racialized groups, as well as older adults living in long-term care facilities and retirement homes. These included Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women, COSTI, Punjabi Community Health Services (PCHS), and Access Alliance. In collaboration with the Métis Nation of Ontario, the workshop series was also adapted to meet the unique needs of the province’s Métis population.
“At PCHS, we are excited to be able to use the resources developed in collaboration with all our partners. We know that this would make a positive difference in the lives of our seniors,” says Baldev Mutta, Chief Executive Officer at Punjabi Community Health Services.
The multilingual resources for older adults are available in English, French, simplified and traditional Chinese, Spanish, Italian, and Punjabi.
Mario J. Calla, Executive Director of COSTI, explains, “providing seniors from ethno-cultural communities [with] culturally adapted resources in their preferred language is a positive and welcome step to ensuring equitable access to services in the community… especially during these most difficult times when seniors are isolated and struggling to cope with the stress of COVID-19 and the distance from family support.”
In addition to these resources, the project team is pleased to share resources for service providers supporting older adults, available in English and French, along with two online training modules: Aging and mental health: A primer on health equity, diversity and anti-racism and Supporting the mental health of older adults in care.
The project is funded by the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility (MSAA) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) which are committed to supporting older adults’ mental health and well-being.
“Our government is committed to supporting the mental health of seniors in Ontario, especially during these challenging times,” said Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility. “These new resources mean seniors can access important mental health and addictions information in ways that meet their needs.”
This is a critical time for older adults and this investment is essential to helping those impacted access the care they need.
If you have any questions about this project or want to get involved as a facilitator or community partner, please reach out to email@example.com