Mental Health and Older Canadians

May 6-10th is the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Mental Health Awareness week. This year’s 2024 Mental Health Week is centered on the healing power of compassion.

What does CARP know about mental health and older Canadians?

  • In late 2020, CARP surveyed over 5,000 older adults on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health. In our survey, respondents identified a number of challenges that challenged their mental wellness, including: financial insecurity, difficulty in getting medical care and isolation and loneliness.
  • In a 2023 survey, nearly 1/5 carp members identified “loneliness” and “my mental health” as obstacles in the way of aging well. A lack of engagement in the community was also highlighted as an issue.
  • Only 8% of CARP members say it is ‘true’ that their community has “good mental health support for older people.”
  • 79% of CARP members are concerned or very concerned about having better mental health and wellness resources in the communities.
  • We also know that as people age, they may experience certain life changes that impact their mental health, such as coping with a serious illness or losing a loved one.
  • Older generations may have a lower comfort level with acknowledging mental health struggles and seeking help.
  • Age should not be a barrier to joy.


CARP is advocating for seniors to have access to improved mental health and wellness resources in their communities:

  • We are asking all levels of government to commit to providing senior-specific mental health practitioners and clinics in local communities;
  • We want to see improved funding for preventative and crisis mental health services, in all provinces and territories.
  • Your postal code should not be a barrier: the government should offer virtual care programming where in-person counseling and appropriate care is not available.
  • The governments should do more to support fitness for seniors – in all parts of Canada, rural and remote. Physical exercise can be key to supporting mental well-being.
  • CARP fights ageism by bolstering the voice and perspective of older Canadians across the country, highlighting the dignity, inherent value and contribution of those with greater age and experience in society.


Read more about CARP’s work on mental health here.