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Caring about mental health for our old loved ones, the Health Bureau sends psychologists to their homes for free consultation

Caring about mental health for our old loved ones, the Health Bureau sends psychologists to their homes for free consultation
Caring about mental health for our old loved ones, the Health Bureau sends psychologists to their homes for free consultation

According to the statistics of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, senior citizens with over 65 years of age accounted for around 11% of the entire Taiwanese population by the end of 2015. Meanwhile, the suicide rate of senior citizens was higher than that of other demographic groups. The Health Bureau of Taichung City Hall has been cooperating with professional psychologists and has been providing home consultations since last year. Last year this project benefited 234 senior citizens around 1,084 times. This year the psychologists will continue to provide the senior citizens with psychological evaluations and proper care in order for them to have better mental health and to live the rest of their lives with a positive attitude.

According to the Health Bureau, it is estimated that senior citizens will account for more than 20% of Taiwan´s entire population by 2025. Taiwan will then become a hyper-aged society. The suicide rate of senior citizens is higher than that of other demographic groups and is 2 to 3 times higher than that of the entire population. By the end of 2015, senior citizens (more than 282,000 people) accounted for 10.3% of the population in Taichung. Comparing the numbers of all the age groups of the citizens who died of suicide during the last three years, the suicide rate of the senior citizens is the highest.

In addition, according to the results of the senior citizen depression inventory, the Health Bureau found that the people who are likely to develop medium and severe depression are 6% and 1% relatively. Among them, those who are living alone have 1.2 times more risk of developing depression, compared with those who are not living alone. Those people who do not have a hobby of exercising or have a healthy social life are more prone to depression. "To age gracefully mentally" has become a topic of public health.

Last year the Health Bureau provided free psychologist home consultation to groups and individuals, in total 234 senior citizens, 1,084 times. Those who needed psychologist home consultation mainly suffer problems like physical maladies, emotional turmoil and family issues. With adequate advice, the senior citizens were less likely to develop depression, and they were more likely to live happily. More than 80% of those who were helped would actively seek help if they had psychological problems again.

The Health Bureau described the case of a Mrs. Wang. She suffered multiple physiological degeneration. To top things off, her son, in his mid-age, suffered an illness. Therefore, she was very depressed. Thanks to her daughter, who shared the psychological consultation service of the Health Bureau with her and recommended that she used the service, after the companion and the help offered by the psychologist, Ms. Wang finally found a way to live happily, including worrying less about her children, listening to old music and going to the traditional market every day to talk to the vendors, etc. Now she has more positive mood.

According to Director Yung-Nian Hsu of the Health Bureau, senior citizens have experienced many twists and changes in life as well as physiological degeneration, so they would be more likely to feel lost, lonely and depressed. Health is not only physical fitness but also mental well-being. He suggested that everyone should care more about the friends and family members, especially those senior people who live alone. When the senior people have emotional problems, dial, at any time, 0800-788-995 for help. Also, it is recommended that the senior people exercise more and participate in social activities in order to live a happy life.

Director Hsu reminded that if you or someone you know needs psychologist consultation, mental therapy, etc., the professional psychologists will provide psychological evaluation and care to those in need (their service includes clarifying the problems, such as personal emotion, family and career issues, and consultation on mental traumas). Feel free to contact local health clinics or the Community Psychological Health Center of the Health Bureau. Phone number: 04-25155148.
(6/29*6)*Health Bureau

  • Data update: 2021-10-26
  • Publish Date: 2016-07-26
  • Source: Health Bureau
  • Hit Count: 346