New mental health resources available in Prince County for seniors

Nurse Practitioner Lisa Gaudet and Social Worker Sonia Myers, members of the Seniors Mental Health Resource Team, discuss services available through the team with Minister of Health and Wellness Robert Henderson.

Prince County seniors now have access to a wide range of mental health resources closer to home.

A specialized Seniors Mental Health Resource Team, now operating out of St. Eleanor’s Place in Summerside and clinics across West Prince, provides a mix of services for seniors experiencing complex mental illnesses complicated by the aging process.

A similar program has been operating out of McGill Centre in Charlottetown for several years.

“Mental illness is a serious health issue for seniors, and we are pleased to see this valuable service now up and running in the western part of the province,” said Minister of Health and Wellness Robert Henderson. “More than 50 seniors have received help since the program began in Prince County in May, and we are getting very positive feedback from people who are using it.”

Mental illness is more prevalent in seniors than any other age group, often caused by grief and loss, mobility, isolation and physical health issues.

The mental health team is available to visit a senior, conduct an assessment, and work with caregivers to provide the senior with needed support with mental health problems commonly associated with the aging process, chronic medical conditions and dementia.

“We hope to improve quality of life and wellbeing of seniors, families and caregivers, enable seniors to remain independent for as long as possible, and reduce the onset of psychiatric symptoms,” said supervisor Donna MacIntyre. “We create a treatment plan for complex needs that cannot be met by primary and secondary care alone.”

The team includes nurse practitioners, registered nurses, social workers, psychiatrists and consulting psychologists. Care is provided to seniors at home, in community care and long term care facilities.

The service will expand to Kings County by the end of this year, at which time provincial funding for the program will be more than $900,000 annually.

A senior can be referred to the program by an individual or a health care provider.  For more information, visit Mental Health Services.

Media contact:
Samantha Hughes
(902) 368 – 5512

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