Canada has an aging population. As of July 1, 2015, there were more people aged 65 years and older in Canada than children under the age of 15 years. The likelihood of experiencing a mental health problem or illness in a given year increases as of age 69 and currently, men aged 80 and older have the highest suicide rates in Canada.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) for Seniors is focused on increasing the capacity of seniors, families (informal caregivers), friends, staff in care settings and communities. The course is intent on promoting mental health in seniors, preventing mental illness and suicide wherever possible in seniors, and intervening early when problems first emerge.
The course content and resource materials are based on best available evidence and practice guidelines and were developed in consultation with Canadian experts in the field of geriatric psychiatry. The curriculum was developed for the Mental Health Commission of Canada at Trillium Health Partners, a healthcare organizations which priorities seniors’ health and wellness. Specifically, the course is comprised of the following eight topics: 1) Seniors, 2) Mental Health First Aid for Seniors, 3) Substance-Related Disorders for Seniors, 4) Mood-Related Disorders for Seniors, 5) Anxiety- and Trauma-Related Disorders for Seniors, 6) Dementia, 7) Delirium, and 8) Psychosis.
- Recognize the symptoms of mental health problems or crises as they develop in seniors
- Provide the initial help to seniors
- Guide a senior and caregiver towards appropriate professional help
- Provide strategies and resources to support both seniors and their caregivers
Content above originally published on the Mental Health Commission of Canada website.