Mental health and emotional well being are best promoted and supported when as many sectors of society as possible are involved—the individual, family/friend, community, health sector and societal spheres of influence—and where the capacity of each sphere is built upon and expanded.
Seniors’ family/friends and health care providers can support them emotionally and practically. Communities can ensure that their infrastructure and services support older adults’ social inclusion. Health authorities can support older adults’ mental health and emotional well being by ensuring that health providers and services are oriented towards mental health promotion and prevention.
Effective intersectoral collaboration identifies common goals among diverse sectoral partners and then ensures coordinated planning, development and implementation of the related policies, programs and services.
Communities have the potential to pool resources to offer a wide array of integrated and supportive mental health promotion approaches and activities. Partnerships or collaborations can help assess and improve the efficiency of program operations, and cut or avoid duplication of programmatic costs.
Partnerships can also maximize collective competence of the members and the community, develop community ownership and role models for promoting community health, establish credibility within various sectors of the community, and help assure that interventions are accessible and appealing, particularly for isolated and diverse populations.
Ultimately, the value of these partnerships will be reflected in the community’s enhanced ability to address the multidimensional, interdisciplinary nature of health promotion and chronic disease self-management, and to promote the inclusion of its older adults.