January Is Mental Wellness Month

ourseniors.net-January Is Mental Wellness Month

Did you know that for every four seniors, at least one will experience some form of threat to their mental health? Seniors are susceptible to the risk of the development of mental disorders like dementia or depression. Exactly 15% of those 60 and older have a mental disorder and it’s important to realize that you don’t have to have a diagnosed mental condition to take interest in your well-being and that’s what the month of January is about. 

This month, it’s important to focus on both emotional and physical health and to remember that mental illness can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Mental Health America encourages everyone to take part in this month-long event by using their resources, such as a toolkit that they provide, to raise awareness about mental illness. 

There are countless resources for all age groups and the main objective for January is meant to empower the strength in not just you but everyone because mental health can affect anyone, regardless of age. Let’s talk more about this awareness month, why it’s needed, and how you can do your part, for yourself and others.

Why Is Awareness of Mental Wellness Important?

Seniors often encounter a variety of health problems and for many, mental health often goes overlooked. Even mental health resources are underutilized by seniors. January is a month meant to increase the utilization of these resources and awareness of the importance of doing so. A lot of the time, these resources can be great preventative tactics. 

Mental wellness is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding preventable conditions. There are multiple issues associated with mental health that can be prevented, seniors just have to be aware of the right approach. Mayo Clinic suggests that mental health issues like anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and dementia can have a negative impact on the actual physical health of an individual. 

Mental health problems are common among older adults and if not treated promptly can cause other issues like stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, and heart disease. The point is to recognize that attention needs to be directed toward untreated mental health problems to help aid in better prevention.

What You Can Do to Enhance Your Mental Wellness as a Senior

Mental wellness month is a great way to promote the importance of taking better care of yourself, improving the quality of your relationships and friendships, and releasing stress. There are a variety of ways to raise awareness for mental wellness throughout the year for both yourself and others. 

You could start by simply checking in with yourself, your family, friends, or anyone that you think could benefit from knowing that someone cares about them. You could create a guide of coping skills and activities, work on your mental health every day, and spend time with supportive loved ones. 

A few other things that you might want to think about if you’re a senior living in Florida are;

  • Getting an adequate amount of sunlight and fresh air
  • Adding things that you enjoy to your daily or weekly routine
  • Making physical fitness a part of your wellness plan
  • Staying up to date with all of your health screenings
  • Not underestimating the power of learning new skills
  • Taking trips just for the sake of it
  • Achieving adequate sleep

Since January is the beginning of a new year, it’s the perfect time to reflect on your mental health. Break down the stigma around mental health disorders and learn new ways to improve it in yourself and those around you. Throughout your life, including physical health, you will find that aspects of your overall state of well-being come and go based on various factors, including physical health challenges, stress levels, distance from family or friends, and even environmental factors. 

Mental wellness is as much a state of mind as it is a state of spirit. When the body needs proper rest and nutrition, the mind must also work to achieve the highest level of function possible.

It’s Important Not to Under-Utilize Resources

Unfortunately, as mentioned, mental health resources often go unused by seniors. The month of January is meant to form an understanding as to why knowledge, awareness, and actual action are essential for seniors. By 2030, the number of mental disorder diagnoses among seniors is expected to double

With the year being 2023, we have time to take initiative and change that statistic. Due to discomfort with a mental health diagnosis and even insufficient insurance coverage, many seniors might avoid looking further into the possibility. Additionally, there is also the situation of other chronic disease conditions that may take precedence over mental health concerns during a primary care visit. 

These things could cause seniors to frequently underutilize behavioral health services leaving mental well-being untreated and oftentimes, ignored. While mental wellness should be thought of every day, this month is to redirect attention to this issue since it is far too easy to both intentionally and unintentionally disregard mental concerns.

Increasing Awareness Starts With You

It’s important to recognize the need for awareness in all facets of health. For seniors, mental wellness is often a primary concern since susceptibility to development of these concerns increases after the age of 60. To help spread awareness and extend education to others, consider doing a few things. You could participate in a community service event, host a fundraiser, attend a seminar about mental wellness, or start a weekly wellness group within your community, family or circle of friends. 

If you’re a senior living in Florida, there are ample opportunities to be taken to help increase mental health awareness and for the health of everyone…it’s vital that you do.


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