The World Health Organization observed World Mental Health Day earlier this month to raise awareness and mobilize efforts in support of mental health issues. You can do your part with your own patients, especially those aged 65 and older.
A number of studies have found that “mental illness in older adults is under-recognized and underdiagnosed,” partly because older adults are less likely to talk to their doctors about their mental health concerns, according to the U.S. News & World Report.
Talk to your patients
We encourage you to talk to patients about their mental health every time you see them. It may help you uncover issues your patients may be reluctant to talk about or dismiss as part of the aging process.
Here are some questions to help you start the conversation about mental health:
- Do you ever feel depressed or anxious?
- Do you ever feel like you just don’t have the energy to accomplish daily activities?
- Does your health or any emotional problems interfere with social activities?
We’re doing what we can to help get the conversation started. We have been encouraging our Medicare members to “Ask away” – ask you any question or concerns they may have. Nothing is too small or too embarrassing to discuss. And we’re offering providers communication materials (without our ConnectiCare logo) to help start the conversation.
If you’re interested in getting any of the materials listed above, please contact Samantha McLin, ConnectiCare’s clinical quality manager, at 860-785-7898.