We All Need Someone to Lean On
by Ginger McMurchie, ECMNCA Owner & Care Manager
The Rolling Stones got it right with the lyrics “We all need someone to lean on” -we do! Whether we are rich in family and friends or have few people we can count on, it is good to remember that there are many who suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues and are in need of someone who cares. May is Mental Health Awareness month: a time to take stock of our own inner dialogue and our ability to tackle the emotional challenges that we face on a day to day basis. It is also a call to us to be alert and responsive to those in need of support and resources.
Here are some valuable things to remember about mental health. People who suffer from depression are at increased risk of other chronic health conditions. Mental health can directly impact one’s recovery from illness, our ability to provide self-care including medication compliance, diet, and long term prognosis. Mental health issues for the elderly often go undiagnosed by health professionals and may be ignored or hidden by the individual themselves due to the stigma associated with treatment. We often find families reporting a history of behaviors that speak to depression, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and anxiety. For many individuals, there has never been a formal diagnosis until late in life. This lack of awareness and understanding gets even more complicated when a loved one then develops symptoms that are related to cognitive impairment in the form of dementia. Clinicians find themselves looking at multiple mental health symptoms and families struggle to support their loved ones. We focus our newsletter this month on resources for helping those who struggle with mental health issues and those who oversee their care.