Where can older adults find help for mental health concerns?

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Author: Canadian Mental Health Association, BC Division

 

Ask Us is for readers who want to take charge of their well-being, support a friend or loved one, find good help, or just learn more about mental health and substance use. Here, the information and resource experts at HeretoHelp will answer the questions that we’re asked most often. We`ll offer tips and information, and we`ll connect you with help in BC, Canada. If you have a question you’d like to ask, email us at askus@heretohelp.bc.ca, tweet @heretohelpbc, or log in to HeretoHelp and post a comment on this page.

Mental health concerns are a serious concern at any age, and everyone deserves help and support. If you’re concerned about your mental health, you can:

  • Talk to your family doctor or go to a walk-in clinic

  • Call the Mental Health Support Line at 310-6789 (no area code) for information about services in your area

  • Find your local mental health centre or program at www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/mental-health-support-in-bc (you may need a doctor’s referral to access some programs)

  • Find your local Canadian Mental Health Association branch at www.cmha.bc.ca and ask for information about local services

  • Contact a local senior’s support organization or group and ask for advice. You can search for organizations at www.bc211.ca

For general information about senior’s mental health:

If you are concerned about a loved one:

  • Be honest about your concerns, like changes you’ve noticed or problems that have come up

  • Give your loved one a chance to talk about their perspectives. They may have a different take on the problem or have different priorities in their health care

  • Be patient—it will probably take more than one conversation

  • Whenever possible, aim for cooperation. Focus on finding an action or solution that everyone can agree on

  • Remember that asking for help is hard for many of us, and it can be even harder as people’s roles and abilities change. If your loved one isn’t willing to talk about their experiences with you right away, offer alternatives like the BC Mental Health Support Line (310-6789—no area code needed), the Seniors Distress Line (604-872-1234) or a local seniors support organization (search for organizations at www.bc211.ca)

  • Seek support to manage your expectations and your own well-being. It can be very stressful to see a loved one experience health problems. But adults who can care for themselves and aren’t at risk of harm are free to make their own choices—and that includes refusing help

 

 
About the author

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The Canadian Mental Health Association promotes the mental health of all and supports the resilience and recovery of people experiencing a mental illness through public education, community-based research, advocacy, and direct services. Visit www.cmha.bc.ca.

 
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