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Aging and Mental Health: Collaborating on Research Priorities

Aging and Mental Health: Collaborating on Research Priorities

Top 10 Unanswered Research Questions on Aging & Mental Health in Canada

Our work to identify the top 10 unanswered research questions on aging and mental health in Canada is complete. See the description of our process below. You can find the Top 10 list here!


This webpage is part of the information sharing process for the Aging and Mental Health: Collaborating on Research Priorities project. For details on our project and why this work is important, you can read our detailed project summary here OR you can watch a video presentation about the project here.  

Project Overview:
295 Canadians completed Survey 1 and shared 42 priorities related to aging and mental health care, support, and treatment. In Survey 2, 703 Canadians identified their top 10 unanswered research questions to generate a list of 18 priority questions. In April, 52 older adults, caregivers, and health and social care providers from across Canada came together in a series of workshops to rank the final top 10.  

The list here shows how the original 42 questions identified from Survey 1 have been screened, prioritized, and ranked to generate the final Top 10 list.

Looking at the figure below, you can see the process visualized:


What are we doing & how can you get involved?

Identifying the top 10 list of unanswered research questions is a first step towards realizing more aging-focused mental health care, support, and treatment in Canada. Our work will continue in the following ways:

  • Continuing our steering group on aging and mental health in Canada;
  • Sharing and encouraging uptake of work on the list of the top 10 unanswered research questions;
  • Research projects on one or more of the top 10 unanswered questions identified; and
  • Action on the known, evidence-based answers to some of Canadians’ questions from Survey 1.

If you are interested in supporting, participating in, or leading this work over the next 12 months please complete our survey here and a member of the project team will be in contact with you.


 

The Comprehensive List of Aging & Mental Health Questions

This comprehensive list is a result of collaborative efforts from the SE Research Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) National, and individuals and organizations from across Canada. This list tracks how the original 42 questions identified from survey 1 were screened, prioritized, and ranked to generate the final top 10 list. For more information on the steps involved, you can read our detailed project summary here.

 

Additional Resources 

If you're interested in understanding more about aging and mental health, check out the following articles and websites. 

  • Advancing Mental Health Promotion in Canada - available here 

In 2019, the Canadian Mental Health Association published a report on mental health in Canada and outlined multiple suggestions for how to promote better wellbeing across the country. If you want to understand our national priorities, and mental health in general, this is an excellent introduction. 

  • Elizz: Lifestyle Destination for Daughters and Sons - website here

Elizz is a website designed to support older adults, caregivers and families. It offers articles on caregiving skills, how to stay mentally healthy, support services, and relationship advice. You can find tips for navigating the transit system as an older adult, arranging multi-generational holidays, or writing a last will and testament. It also includes the Care Channel which provides free resources for family and community caregivers. 

  • Mental Health Considerations for the Older Adult - available here 

The Seniors Health Knowledge Network focuses on sharing evidence and knowledge across disciplines, in addition to developing relationships among: practitioners, researchers, educators, policy makers, and older adults. They have a regular publication called Linkages which highlights upcoming events, opportunities and updates related to aging, health and caring for older adults. Their January 2020 newsletter includes a large list of resources, information, and research studies that may be of interest. 

  • Older adults: where to go when you're looking for help - available here

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has created a list of organizations and resources that focus on providing services to individuals 65 years and older. Some do offer services for individuals aged 55. The list is sorted by topic and covers: addictions, Alzheimer's Disease and other Dementias, mental health programs, community support for seniors and caregivers, and elder abuse.

  • What older adults and their families and friends need to know about ... Depression - available here
  • What older adults and their families and friends need to know about ... Anxiety - available here

A set of resources from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) that provide information on how to recognize the signs of depression and anxiety. These short articles also provide suggestions on what older adults can do if they are experiencing these symptoms. Each has a short list of organizations or contacts that can be useful for more information.