It is Possible to Live Well with a Mental Health Condition

Mental illness is real, common and can happen to anyone at any age. Loneliness, isolation, fear of illness or injury and being treated differently because of your age can often cause or worsen mental health issues for older adults.

Many don’t seek treatment because they believe their symptoms are a result of aging, they are afraid a diagnosis could have a widespread impact on how they are treated by friends and family, or that they won’t be able to live independently if they receive care for a mental health condition. 

But having a mental illness doesn’t need to stop anyone from living a good life or maintaining independence. With proper support and treatment, it’s possible to improve quality of life at any age and even strengthen relationships. At any stage in life, you and your loved ones deserve the benefits that mental health treatment can provide.

Common Mental Illnesses

Know the signs.

Don’t assume that mental health symptoms are due to age. Learn some of the signs of mental health problems so that you can ask your doctor, caregiver or family member the right questions.

Mental Health Services

Call 211

For local mental health counseling, support and crisis response services. If you are in crisis or experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

  • Connect with members of your community. Attending local community events, socials or support groups can be a great way to improve your mental and physical health. You will likely find that many are managing their own mental health experience and the mutual support can make all the difference.
  • Ask for help. Seeking treatment to support your mental health does not mean sacrificing your independence. Prioritizing mental well-being means prioritizing a healthy, positive lifestyle.
  • Offer your support to others. Many friends and members of your community may be afraid to share their experience with mental illness or any symptoms they may be experiencing, but knowing you will listen without judgement may give them the courage to speak up and ask for support.
  • Learn the facts about mental illness, ways stigma can impact healthy aging and the resources for help. Support is available at any stage in life.
  • Recognize the signs. Don’t assume that mental health symptoms are due to age. Learn some of the signs of mental health problems so that you can ask your doctor, caregiver or family member the right questions.
  • Start a conversation. No one has to manage their mental health experience alone. If you are experiencing symptoms of mental illness, talking with caregiver or health services provider is a safe, secure place to start, and a great first step to improve your overall wellbeing. If you have a friend or loved one who may be experiencing mental health concerns, use our website’s conversation starters, let them know you are there for support and encourage them to seek help.
  • To learn more about what people with mental health conditions are going through, how support can be provided or to get involved, explore StopStigmaSacramento.org, or call 211 to be referred to culturally competent, recovery-focused mental health services.
Conversation Starter

Hey, it seems like you’ve got a lot on your mind lately. How are you?

I just wanted to say that I am here if you want to talk about anything – Can we get together this week? 

I noticed you have missed a few days of school, and I just wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing.

I haven’t seen you in a while! How have you been?

I know life can feel like a lot sometimes, but if you need someone to talk to, I want you to know I am here.

You’ve seemed a little down lately and I wanted to see how you are doing.

I just want you to know I am here for you if you ever need to talk. You’re my friend and I won’t judge you.

I know things have been hard lately; let me know if you want to talk about it. I’m here for you.

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Resources

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