Mental Health Month 

May is Mental Health Month, a national observance first instituted in 1949 by Mental Health America (MHA). This year, “MHA’s 2023 Mental Health Month campaign is focused on how surroundings impact mental health, and we are calling for individuals to look around, look within.” Specifically, MHA is focusing on the ways “Safe and Stable Housing, Healthy Home Environments, Neighborhoods and Towns, [and] The Outdoors and Nature” play a role in our mental health. 

At Brio Living Services, we are proud to provide a home or safe space to approximately 8,000 older adults across lower Michigan. Our locations are scenic and surrounded by beautiful nature. We recognize that mental health is just as important as physical health and make it a priority in our services. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “The most common mental and neurological disorders in [older adults] are dementia and depression, which affect approximately 5% and 7% of the world’s older population, respectively.” If you’re an older adult living with mental health struggles, the best thing you can do is reach out to your doctor or therapist for help. While you should always follow your medical team’s guidance, there are some other things you can try to boost your mood. 

  1. Spend time outdoors. There’s nothing like spending time in nature to hit the reset button for the day. Even a stroll around the block, or sitting in the sun for half an hour, can perk you up. 
  1. Talk to a trusted friend or therapist about your feelings. Sometimes just getting something off your chest will leave you feeling lighter. 
  1. Prioritize time with grandchildren, friends, pets, anyone who brings you joy. 
  1. Listen to music you enjoy, especially songs that remind you of pleasant times. 
  1. Keep your brain engaged by investing in sensory items, crossword puzzles, or reading a book. 

And ultimately, remember that you’re not alone in your mental health struggles. Nearly everyone struggles with their mental health at some point in their lives. Know that things can and will get better and be kind to yourself. 

Learn more about the communities and services we offer for older adults at Brio Living Services.