The session is suitable for all levels of staff, from all departments.

This session can be credited to the 5-Day Mental Health Recovery Care Certificate Program.

Presented by Steve Mathew (Behaviour Therapist, Mental Health Clinical Manager)

Perceived threat, doom and gloom characterizes the world of the resident suffering with anxiety and mood disorders.

Both anxiety and mood disorders are accounted for by genetic, neurochemical and environmental factors. These factors combined with the resident’s personal history and physical disability, create a complicated presentation.   Anxiety has many presentations in the older adult; such as phobias, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress, that are not always visible to the non-clinically discerning eye. These disorders require specialized training in order to better detect problems before the resident begins a downward spiral that could manifest into episodes of panic. Mood disorders are also highly prevalent in institutionalized older adults and the disorders typically range between Major Depressive Disorder and Bipolar Affective Disorder.   Additionally, suicide risk and the behaviors associated with mania can prove extremely challenging in a long term care home environment.

This interactive and insightful workshop explores the complex world of anxiety and mood disorders through the lens of the RecoveryCare Model and philosophy of Harm Reduction. Specific assessment tools will be presented as well as fundamental skills relative to assessing mental status, establishing therapeutic relationships, employing behavioral activation and drug therapies such as antidepressants, mood stabilizers and anxiolytics. Participants will be introduced to the fundamentals of the cognitive behavioral therapy, which has a strong empirical basis in the successful treatment of anxiety and mood problems. Additionally, participants will gain insights into the benefits of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in cases of treatment refractory depression, with special emphasis on suicide prevention and intervention.