May 20th is Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day! Today is a unique opportunity to highlight the mental health challenges facing older and aging adults: isolation, mental illness, substance abuse, suicide and others.
Members of this generation have historically faced stigma and experienced shame and embarrassment which limited their access to care and intensified their mental health struggles. Now, awareness of older adult mental health is at an all-time high and services for older adults are building momentum — we are not going back to those times, and our path to ending stigma and providing hope is clearer than ever.
- One in five older adults suffer from a mental illness
- White men over 55 have the highest suicide rate of any demographic
- Depression is one of the most underrecognized illnesses in seniors
- Loneliness in older adults has extreme physical health and life expectancy consequences, which some researchers rank as equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day
The unique mental health challenges and obstacles facing older adults call for both an expanded awareness of these issues as well as the creation of services that can meet these unmet needs. Lines for Life’s Senior Loneliness Line is one of these services.
Offering free emotional support, conversation and connection 24/7/365, the Senior Loneliness Line helps to heal social isolation, creates new pathways to resources, and saves lives. If you or someone you know could benefit from this service, call us anytime at 503-200-1633.
Take the time today to connect with an older adult and lend your support as we celebrate National Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day.