Celebrating Mental Health Week: A time for connection and kindness

Did you know that Canada has a whole week dedicated to mental health? Every year in May, since 1951, Canadians come together to raise awareness and celebrate the importance of mental well-being. This year's theme, running from May 6th to 12th, is all about the power of compassion.


Compassion is a powerful concept and pertains to how we treat others but also how we treat ourselves. As we get older, life can throw some curveballs, and it's normal to experience stress, anxiety, or even feelings of loneliness. But here's the good news: you're not alone!


We’ve compiled some ways to embrace compassion during Mental Health Week (and beyond):

  • Connect with loved ones: Reach out to friends and family, or even join a social group for older adults. Sharing a cup of tea or a phone call can make a big difference.
  • Be kind to yourself: Acknowledge your feelings and practice self-care. Maybe it's reading a good book or taking a relaxing walk in nature.
  • Help others: Volunteering your time or simply offering a helping hand to someone in need can boost your own mood and create a sense of purpose.


Remember, there's no shame in seeking help if you're struggling. Your healthcare team is a great resource, and there are many mental health organizations specifically geared toward older adults. The McMaster Optimal Aging also offers several resources that can help educate you further on various aspects of your health and well-being.


Mental health is just as important as physical health. By focusing on compassion and connection, we can all thrive as we age.

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DISCLAIMER: These summaries are provided for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for advice from your own health care professional. The summaries may be reproduced for not-for-profit educational purposes only. Any other uses must be approved by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal (info@mcmasteroptimalaging.org).

Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of new and old blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with changing public health recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website.