The mental health of seniors living in rural communities was identified by the Deputy Ministers of Health in the four Atlantic Provinces as a common area of concern. It was recognized that, even when there are programs and resources in place to treat mental health problems, there are barriers that impede older people from accessing mental health services. Significant barriers include social myths related to aging and mental illness, the association of depression with dementia, transportation difficulties and lack of accessible services.
Depression can be a normal response to some life situations associated with aging, such as loss of a spouse or development of a disability. This type of depression is often referred to as “situational depression”. Depression can be treated, but if left untreated, it can lead to long-term depression or other health problems. The Aging Well in Rural Places project undertook to develop a community-based social marketing strategy related to situational depression in seniors who live in rural Atlantic Canada.
Excerpt from Aging Well in Rural Places : Development and Pilot Testing of a Community-Based Strategy for Addressing Depression in Seniors in Atlantic Canada: Final Report (2002).
Aging Well in Rural Places : Development and Pilot Testing of a Community-Based Strategy for Addressing Depression in Seniors in Atlantic Canada: Literature Synthesis; Retrieved January 2009.
Rural Seniors’ Dialogue : Report on Discussions between the Government of Canada and Seniors from Rural, Remote and Northern Regions of British Columbia. Issues unique to seniors living in rural areas (Health Care, Transportation, Community Safety, and Social Oppertunities) are reported, as well as approaches used to deal with them.