Year: 2021 Source: Markham, ON: Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health. (2021). 32 p. SIEC No: 20210459

T he proportion of Canadians who are seniors is expected to increase dramatically. Currently older adults (i.e., those aged ≥ 65) account for 18% of our country’s population (Statistics Canada, 2020). Approximately 20% of those aged 65 and older are living with a mental illness. Although this figure is consistent with the prevalence of mental illness in other age groups, it does not capture the high prevalence rates seen within health and social institutions. For example, it has been reported that 80–90% of nursing home residents live with some form of mental illness and/or cognitive impairment (Seitz et al., 2010; Rovner et al., 1990). Late-life depression is common but often under-diagnosed and undertreated contributing to significant functional impairment and reduced quality of life. The Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health (CCSMH) National Guideline Project was originally created to support the development of evidence-based recommendations in 4 key areas of seniors’ mental health, including depression.