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According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing®, older adults have high rates of anxiety and depression and low rates of identification and treatment. Experts estimate that one in four older adults have a mental health condition and more than one million adults age 65 and older have a substance use challenge.

What are symptoms of mental disorders in older adults?

  • Noticeable changes in mood, energy level, or appetite
  • Feeling flat or having trouble feeling positive emotions
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Difficulty concentrating, feeling restless, or on edge
  • Increased worry or feeling stressed
  • Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
  • Ongoing headaches, digestive issues, or pain
  • Misuse of alcohol or drugs
  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Thoughts of death or suicide or suicide attempts
  • Engaging in high-risk activities
  • Obsessive thinking or compulsive behavior
  • Thoughts or behaviors that interfere with work, family, or social life
  • Engaging in thinking or behavior that is concerning to others
  • Seeing, hearing, and feeling things that other people do not see, hear, or feel

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

Combat Social Isolation

This animated video from the National Institute on Aging features tips to help prevent and reduce social isolation and loneliness.

Ways to Connect

Mental Health First Aid Training for Individuals Caring for Older Adults

Learn How To:

Identify unique mental health challenges of people aged 50 and older

Respond to older adults who may be living with a mental illness or addiction

Training Facilitators:

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $3,691,706 million with zero percentage financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.