The Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public that Malawi will commemorate the World Mental Health day which falls on 10th October every year under the theme “Mental Health and Older People”.The Ministry of Health would like to inform the general public that Malawi will commemorate the World Mental Health day which falls on 10th October every year under the theme “Mental Health and Older People”.Older adults face special health challenges. Many of the very old people lose their ability to live independently because of limited mobility, frailty or other physical or mental health problems and require some form of long-term care.
Mental health challenges faced by the elderly are multifaceted including under-identification by health care professionals and older people themselves as well as reluctance by older people themselves to seek help.Social, demographic, psychological, and biological factors contribute to a person’s mental health status. Almost all these factors are particularly pertinent amongst older adults. Factors such as poverty, social isolation, loss of independence, loneliness and losses of different kinds, can affect mental health and general health of the elderly. Older adults are more likely to experience events such as bereavements or physical disability that affect emotional well-being and can result in poorer mental health.
On the other hand, social support and family interactions can boost the dignity of older adults, and are likely to have a protective role in the mental health outcomes of this population.In high-income countries where data exists, around 4-6% of older persons have experienced some form of maltreatment at home. The frequency should be even higher, as many older adults are too scared or are unable to report maltreatment. This type of abuse includes; physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, financial and material abuse; abandonment; neglect; and serious loss of dignity and self-respect.Globally, there is a drastic demographic change with a rise of ageing populations in most countries. This brings about new challenges but also potential opportunities. The quality of life for older people fare less well in many African and East Asian countries – Malawi is ranked number 86 out of 91 according to the 2013 Global Age-Watch Index report.Mental health of older adults can be improved through promoting active and healthy ageing. Promoting healthy
The quality of life for older people fare less well in many African and East Asian countries – Malawi is ranked number 86 out of 91 according to the 2013 Global Age-Watch Index report.Mental health of older adults can be improved through promoting active and healthy ageing. Promoting healthy life styles among the general population, starting from an earlier age with strategies such as increasing physical and mental activity, avoiding smoking, preventing harmful use of alcohol and providing early identification and treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), can contribute to better mental health among older adults.
Addressing elderly maltreatment is also critical for the promotion of mental health among the elderly.To commemorate this year’s World Mental Health Day, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with its partners has organized an open event that will take place on Saturday, 26th of October, 2013 from 9.30am at Lilongwe Community Ground in Lilongwe. The event will start with a big walk from Lilongwe Town Hall to Lilongwe Community Ground.
The Ministry has organized a mental health week from 14th to 21st October 2013 in order to intensify message dissemination through print and electronic media as well as to conduct outreach activities towards the older adults.The general public may wish to know that involving civil society, non-governmental and non-profit organizations, and public-private partnerships could facilitate the implementation of health promotion strategies for older adults.