Brookhaven Retreat Observes Older Americans' Mental Health Week

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In May, Brookhaven Retreat, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, recognizes the unique mental health challenges presented to older women.

Older Americans' Mental Health Week, observed May 19-25, was created by the Older Women’s League to spread awareness that mental illness is not a normal part of aging. It also encourages older Americans suffering from mental health issues to seek help. Brookhaven Retreat recognizes that the unique challenges faced by older women can lead to mental health issues that require residential treatment.

One in four American adults suffers from a diagnosable mental illness, the National Institute of Mental Health reports. According to the OWL, less than one quarter of older adults receive any type of mental health attention for their illness.

Depression frequently co-occurs with serious health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer that may affect the older population, the NIMH reports. Because women tend to outlive men, issues of grief and bereavement often affect older women. Women often remain caregivers, and their ability to fulfill this role is affected by their mental health.

It is important for aging women to recognize the difference between healthy grief, worry, and medication intake and issues of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. When women isolate, become unable to care for themselves or manage emotional suffering with medication, a deeper mental health issue may be present. This is not part of the normal aging process, and appropriate treatment should be sought.

Brookhaven Retreat treats women with mental health and substance abuse issues, and frequently encounters the unique mental health challenges presented to older women. Without treatment, depression, anxiety and isolation worsen and wellness declines.

Women can recover from mental health and substance abuse issues at any age. There are a variety of treatment options for older women with major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders and substance abuse issues. Brookhaven Retreat believes in also addressing self-esteem, nutrition and daily habits to create a stable foundation for continued wellness.

In May, Brookhaven Retreat recognizes that mental illness presents a significant risk to older women as it may be dismissed as a sign of the aging process. It rededicates itself to helping older women build the healthy habits and positive outlook that will allow them to enjoy emotionally fulfilling lives after treatment.

About Brookhaven Retreat
Brookhaven Retreat is a women's treatment center nestled on a naturally beautiful 48-acre site secluded in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has helped hundreds of women across the United States overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, substance use and a range of other behavioral health challenges. Brookhaven’s Founder, Jacqueline Dawes, has predicated its gender-specific treatment on “healing emotional breakage” for women. In this way, she has established a sanctuary and a place where women can feel safe, secure and cared for by a staff of highly trained professionals.

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Jessica Wirth
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