World Mental Health Day is an annual global mental health campaign organised by the World Federation for Mental Health. This year’s theme is ‘Mental health and older adults’, with the aim to improve the mental health of older adults through promoting active and healthy ageing.
The Department of Health, together with representatives from the Department of Social Care and partners in the third and voluntary sectors invite you to celebrate World Mental Health Day, on Thursday 10 October 2013 at the Masonic Hall, Woodbourne Road, Douglas, from 10.00am until 4.00pm. This is a free public event where people are welcome to pop in at any time during the day, to join in with an activity, listen to one of the informative and reflective talks, to look at the information, or speak to staff from the agencies and services present.
This year’s event will highlight the promotion of good mental health and wellbeing for older people, such as healthy lifestyles, feeling valued, and taking part in mental and physical activity. Many older people face unique health difficulties such as physical health problems, isolation, and loss of independence. These can affect emotional wellbeing leading to emotional distress and mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. In addition, there are other mental health problems, such as dementia which generally affect older people. In order to promote active ageing, awareness of certain inequalities which might face older people – such as health inequality and age discrimination – need to be raised.
Member for Mental Health Services, Bill Henderson MHK said: “World Mental Health Day provides an excellent opportunity for cross-Department and sector collaboration, to raise awareness of mental health and the wellbeing of our older people. Good mental health and wellbeing is as important in older age as at any other time of life.
“We need to focus on what the World Federation for Mental Health calls ‘active aging’, which means making the most of opportunities for good health – physical, mental, and active participation. We are fortunate in that we have some outstanding Health, Social Care and third sector services which take a proactive approach to addressing the health and social needs of older people and in providing opportunities for improved health and wellbeing.”
Throughout the day there will be the opportunity to participate in a range of activities and talks on aspects of mental health and wellbeing in older adults. These include a talk by Katie King, Community Outreach and Learning Support Officer at Manx National Heritage, titled, ‘Reminiscence in Practice – Top Tips and Techniques’. Social Historian and Mental Health Worker Sarah Christian will be exploring the provision of care for older people with mental health problems in the Isle of Man 100 years ago. Andrew Lang, Mental Health Act, Capacity, and Care Programme Approach Manager will give a presentation on ‘Capacity – An overview’.
There will be information from a variety of agencies and organisations on the types of services, support and resources which are available for older people, as well as about ways to improve mental health and wellbeing including physical health and the types of mental health problems which can affect older adults.
There will be the chance to try out chair based exercises with Senior Health Improvement Officer, Michelle Poyzer from the Public Health Directorate. Consultant Psychiatrist and notable pianist, Dr Chris Jagus will be providing musical entertainment, with the added opportunity for a sing-a-long.
Julie Bennion, Specialist in Mental Health Promotion said: “The focus of the day is to raise awareness and provide information about mental health and well-being for older people. Whether you want to find out about how to improve your own mental health, discover what support or resources are available locally or how to support an older person, then this event will be a source of relevant information. It is important to recognise what factors contribute to good mental health in later life. Such as, keeping busy by taking part in meaningful activity, developing and maintaining good social networks, and being able to access opportunities to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
“We must not forget that everyone has an individual responsibility to promote their own mental and physical health and wellbeing. This event will provide lots of ideas and ways in which older people can take an active role in promoting their own mental health and wellbeing. It promises to be informative, fun and interactive.”
A programme of events is available online at www.gov.im/categories/health-and-wellbeing/mental-health-services/world-mental-health-day.