Mental health is how we think about life, how we feel about ourselves and others, and how we behave and adapt to change, stress, and other life events.

Mental Health

With good mental health, people feel positive about themselves, feel relaxed in most situations, and handle life’s tasks and small problems with ease.

Mental illness is not a normal part of the aging process but greater than 50% of older adults think it is. Almost 20% of people over the age of 55 experience mental disorders that are not part of “normal aging” however, only about 10% of these individuals get treatment.

It is tragic that so many people do not understand the problems associated with mental health in later life because the treatment success rate is near 80%. That means that there is tremendous hope for recovery and many people are suffering needlessly.

The symptoms of mental illness can be confusing, irritating and disruptive to daily living, relationships and health conditions. Most older adults, their families and friends, caregivers and health care professionals do not recognize and resolve these highly treatable problems.

Mental illness occurs when the brain gets stressed or diseased. Mental health is physical health — the brain is one of our body’s most precious and vital organs. If you had a broken bone, you would get treatment. If you have a mental health problem, you should likewise seek treatment.