Meet our Team

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and we’re focusing on our Mental Health Team

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and we’re showcasing Winterberry’s Mental Health Team and the great work they do with our patients and community.

Up to 30% of Ontarians aged 65+ has a mental health issue, and there is growing evidence that the incidence of mental illnesses is increasing in older adults. Some seniors already have a mental health issue from earlier in life. For others, changes such as loss of loved ones, retirement, and decreasing social support networks can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety in later life.

We met up with Susana, a Winterberry Mental Health Counsellor to get more information on services for seniors:

Question: How does Winterberry help and support senior’s mental health? 

Susana: Winterberry supports patients from a wraparound model of care, ensuring all patients are provided with care that is specific to their needs, meeting them where they are at. The mental health of our patients is paramount not only for us as Mental Health Counsellors, but also for Winterberry and the entire team. Winterberry ensures seniors receive information, psychoeducation, resources, and support when it comes to their mental health. Seniors are provided with the option of speaking to a mental health counsellor, and are supported via phone, vide, or in person. 

Question: How does a senior know when to book an appointment based on concerns around mental health? Can you share some warning signs that additional support is needed? 

Based on our wraparound model of care, our staff team can support seniors in identifying when they might benefit from mental health support. Whether it be a nurse practitioner, a physician, or even a dietician, our team is dedicated to recognizing and prioritizing our patients’ needs. Seniors can be referred to mental health counsellors by any staff member, or they can call in and book themselves for an initial mental health intake. Seniors often recognize and voice out their struggles with loneliness, low mood, difficulty engaging in previously enjoyed activities, and feeling like they have limited experiences that bring them joy. As practitioners, it is important to establish a relationship with our patients that allows us to recognize these warning signs and provide the necessary resources and information so that our patients feel heard, seen, validated, and supported. 

For more information on mental health services available at Winterberry please call our office at 905‑575‑9004.