CMHA Vernon is delighted to announce the launch of a new program, Work Out Wise, to improve mental health for Vernon senior’s through physical activity.  Today’s seniors face unique mental health challenges. Depressive symptoms and disorders in old age are common, as are grief and adjustment disorders with depressed mood. Unfortunately depression is under-diagnosed and undertreated in seniors. Suicide rates among older men are high, especially in those who have physical health problems.

We know how good it is for our bodies to exercise, and it is also good for our mental health. Research confirms that exercise is a great stress reliever. It reduces muscle tension, improves blood flow and floods your body with feel-good chemicals. People who exercise often report having less anxiety. Exercise has also been shown to reduce symptoms of mild depression.

It is estimated that the prevalence of mental health problems in adults over 65 years ranges from 17 to 30 percent. With 25% of Vernon’s population being seniors, it is important to ensure there are programs and services in our community designed specifically to engage our seniors in improving both mental and physical health.

Funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizon for Seniors Program, CMHA Vernon has introduced a fitness program for seniors in order to increase community participation, improve physical health and promote a healthier lifestyle. “We are excited to be able to offer Work Out Well to seniors in our community. The demand for these types of programs is overwhelming and truly essential to engage our senior’s community in social participation to avoid insolation and subsequent mental health issues” said Sue Myhre, Manager of Programs and Services for CMHA Vernon.

The Work Out Wise Program has been developed in collaboration with CMHA Vernon Peer Support Volunteers who will take part in the program. “I am very excited to be part of the planning and participate in this program. There is such a huge need for more social and exercise programs for seniors in Vernon” said Paula, CMHA Peer Support Volunteer.

CMHA has been working to improve mental health in our community since 1959, and looks forward to continuing to offer more programs for our senior’s population.

To learn more about the Canadian Mental Health Association Vernon Branch or to make a donation to improve mental health in our community, visit the CMHA website or call 250-542-3114.

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