News and Events

Symposium to Address Seniors' Mental Health

Saturday, February 24, 2018 9:30 to 12:30, Murphy's Community Centre

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Voluntary Resource Council will present Promoting Mental Health in Seniors: Challenges and Strategies.

The Voluntary Resource Council will present a symposium on seniors' mental health in February.  Promoting Mental Health in Seniors: Challenges and Strategies will be a chance to share ideas about prevention and discuss access to appropriate mental health care services.

The free-of-charge event will be at the Murphy’s Community Centre, 200 Richmond St., Charlottetown on Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (storm date: March 17). Snacks will be provided. Travel and child/elder care subsidies are available on request. Pre-registration is advised. To pre-register, call Sylvie at 902-368-7337 or email vrc@eastlink.ca . Registration deadline is February 20.

The symposium will be interactive and set up in two parts. Each part will consist of a guided table discussion (with a couple of discussion questions around challenges and strategies for change) and an affirming,energizing 10-minute presentation. The first part will be on the personal aspects of mental health for seniors, zeroing in on what seniors have to do to access and maintain good mental health. The presenter will be Debbie Theuerkauf, registered nurse. The second part of the morning will concentrate on how to arouse the community and public policy makers to make changes in favour of seniors’ mental health. Sarah Stuart-Clark, known for her work with #howmanywade, among other crucial causes, is making the second 10-minute presentation.

The symposium is part of the VRC's  2017-18 project called Seniors Promoting Mental Health Balance, funded in part by the Government of Canada's New Horizons for Seniors Program.The symposium is designed and implemented by members of the 5-session training program held in October-November, 2017. Anne Love is one of the project participants and an organizer of the symposium. “The project, Seniors Promoting Mental Health Balance, gave us an opportunity to learn and share with other seniors the many ways of creating and sustaining mental health balance,” said Love. “This includes looking at personal initiatives such as exercise & diet, developing healthy relationships, having hopeful attitudes, and intellectual and spiritual practices. The Symposium will challenge seniors to explore strategies for prevention and for encouraging deeper community and government engagement.”

Sylvie Arsenault is the manager of the VRC. She said that the VRC, as proponent of Seniors Promoting Mental Health Balance, is proud to sponsor this program, which is part of a series of engaging seniors in their own crucial issues. “It is always a pleasure to be part of a process in which seniors learn from one another and come up with creative ideas for improving the lives of all seniors, and all people,” said Arsenault. “One of the amazing moments in theseprojects is seeing the training participants taking leadership in organizing a community event, such as the symposium, for other seniors.”