Canadian Alliance on mental Illness and Mental Health Alliance Canadienne pour la Maladie Mentale et la Sante Mentale

Tools for Health Care Providers :
The Assessment & Treatment of Depression in Older Adults

Depression is the most common mental health problem for older adults and has profound negative impacts on all aspects of their life, not to mention the impact on family and the community. Despite its prevalence, depression should not be considered a normal part of aging. It is important that clinicians be aware of the prevalence of depression, the challenges of diagnosis and the complexity of caring for older adults who are often also medically ill. It is also vital that clinicians realize that depression in the elderly is treatable and that treatment can result in major functional, social and health gains.

With funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada Population Health Fund, CCSMH was able to collaborate with experts in the fields of geriatrics and depression to develop evidence-based recommendations on the assessment and treatment of depression in older adults. From 2007-2010, pilot projects were launched to disseminate information and implement recommendations from the guidelines. Exciting work on these projects is still underway. Bookmark this page and visit us frequently for updates or contact us for more information.

All documents can be downloaded at no charge. Interested in hard copies? Please visit Request Resources for more information.

CCSMH National Guidelines for Seniors' Mental Health: The Assessment and Treatment of Depression
(available in French/disponibles en français)

Depression Guideline Development Group

Tool on Depression: Assessment & Treatment for Older Adults [pdf]
(available in French/disponibles en français)

Developed in collaboration with the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)

Are my older patients at higher risk of depression?

Developed in collaboration with the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)

Tool on Depression: Assessment and Treatment for Older Adults [ppt]

Developed in collaboration with the National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE)

Depression in the Elderly: CCSMH National Guidelines-informed Interactive, Case-Based Tutorial [ppt]

Developed in cooperation with the Nova Scotia Seniors’ Mental Health Network to be video-conferenced to hospital-based mental health programs in all nine districts in Nova Scotia and used in face-to-face knowledge transfer sessions.

The CCSMH has also produced an educational, user-friendly guide about depression for seniors and family members.

[updated October 22, 2009]