Moving evidence to action for seniors’ mental health promotion during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
The mental health of many older adults in Canada was adversely affected by COVID-19 with worsening rates of depression, anxiety, substance use, and behavioural & psychological symptoms of dementia. COVID-19 highlighted significant challenges faced by older adults related to accessing mental illness prevention and treatment support. This project is building on the CCSMH’s previous work and is leveraging existing relationships to rapidly synthesize current evidence for mental health promotion and prevention supports that address these mental health consequences. We are then translating this evidence into tools and resources for older adults, caregivers, and different healthcare providers, which will be shared across Canada. This project is expected to reach 241,000 health professionals through the implementation of extensive knowledge mobilization approaches and with the support of the CCSMH’s various well-connected working groups and committees.
Lead organization: Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health (CCSMH) and the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry (CAGP)
- Healthcare Professionals
- (Physicians, Nurses, Social Workers, Psychologists, Pharmacists etc.)
- Other service providers
- All older adults
- Family caregivers
- Synthesize best practices in mental health promotion and prevention in older adults both during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
- Translate best practices in mental health promotion, prevention and treatment for older adults into tools and resources and disseminate these with target audiences (e.g., older adults, caregiver and healthcare providers).
- Knowledge Synthesis & Translation: Knowledge synthesis and knowledge translation activities for each of the four topic areas of older adult mental health: anxiety disorders, behavioural symptoms of dementia, depression and substance use disorders.
- Project Executive Team: A project executive team will be established to oversee the overall project objectives and to coordinate the activities of the specific mental health topic working groups.
- Advisory Committees: Each of the topic areas will have co-leads and advisory committees including stakeholder organizations, not-for-profits, individuals and caregivers with lived experience, and representation from interdisciplinary healthcare professions involved in the care of older adults with mental health disorders.
- Health care settings (e.g., community-based agencies, primary care settings, hospitals, long-term care, retirement home etc.)
The mental health of many older adults in Canada has been adversely affected by COVID-19 with worsening rates of depression, anxiety, substance use and behavioural symptoms of dementia. COVID-19 has also highlighted significant challenges faced by older adults related to accessing prevention and treatment supports.
In the words of the project team members
“One aspect of our project is to do integrated knowledge mobilization work. We’re really excited to continue the excellent work of the coalition, who previously had developed clinical practice guidelines in depression and substance use and we really want to leverage those guidelines and share them with the intention of having them implemented into practice. A core aspect of our work is connecting with clinicians across the country, and providing them with tools so that they can take the guidelines and actually use them in their practice.”
Key protective factors
- Mental health literacy
- Cognitive abilities
- Supportive relationships in the community
- Access to health and support services
- Knowledge synthesis
- Knowledge translation