A new publication is helping senior residents in Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin be more mindful about their mental health.
Mindful for Older Adults is a mini magazine focused on providing resources and information about self harm, suicidal ideation and suicide prevention. It was created through a collaboration between the Suicide Awareness Council of Wellington-Dufferin and the Seniors Centre for Excellence.
Heather Glenister is a coordinator with the Suicide Council of Wellington-Dufferin and was involved in creating the publication.
She says the pandemic has cut seniors off from their community, and without access to technology, transportation or social gatherings, more are reporting feelings of loneliness and isolation.
“Often times, seniors are a bit reluctant to talk about suicide,” says Glenister,“It’s not something many are comfortable (with). They are from that lens where it’s ‘taboo,’ and that, ‘I shouldn’t share.’”
“But it’s important that they do reach out.” she continues, “They deserve the same access to care as everyone else does, but they are sometimes a bit reluctant and some of those things, along with isolation, can fuel suicidal thoughts and suicide.”
With many of these residents without internet access due to location or their financial situation, Glenister says all the resources in Mindful include phone numbers so they can be easily accessed.
“We wanted to have all the information there that was largely phone numbers,” she says “I think seniors too, they like to have a conversation.”
Along with providing resources, the magazine will also have stories, recipes, photos and activities for readers. Glenister says they are currently distributing issues to seniors through the meals program at the Evergreen Seniors Centre and the Meals on Wheels program in rural Wellington.
An online version is also available here.
“We’re really getting this out to as many people as we possibly can,” she says.
As the pandemic continues to impact communities, Glenister says their main objective was to give something for residents to smile about.
“We just wanted to do something delightful and happy that would bring a smile to people’s faces,” she says.