Senior’s mental health research
database knowledge tool for general public, researchers
It’s only a week and a half old, but owing to the response
so far – including 50 researchers signing on during that time
– the web-based “Senior’s Mental Health Research
Network” is shaping up to be a powerful knowledge-sharing
tool, says Faith Malach, executive director of the Canadian Coalition
for Senior’s Mental Health.
The network was developed
after 60 prominent researchers on senior’s mental health met
in the fall of 2004 and identified a lack of research sharing.
A database of research work, they decided, would
allow the public, care-providers, and researchers the chance to
gain knowledge, connect, and develop linkages to identify opportunities
for future, collaborative research.
“The problem in the past was that it was
often difficult [to gain access] to who was doing what,” says
The fledgling network, which is free to the public,
can be found at: http://researchnetwork.ccsmh.ca
Apart from researchers and the general public,
the network’s audience is expected to include representatives
of funding bodies, policy planners, administrators and educators
in long term care, and other research networks.
“It’s about building capacity,”
The Canadian Coalition for Senior’s Mental
Health was developed in 2002 after government representatives and
healthcare professionals noted an inadequate awareness about senior’s
mental health issues and a corresponding dearth of assessment/treatment
The Coalition recently announced a series of best
practice guidelines in the assessment and treatment of delirium,
depression, those at suicide risk, and mood and other behaviour
The guidelines, said Malach in an earlier interview
with the Morning Report, aim to remove the stigma associated with
mental illness in seniors (persons over 65) while creating a tool
for both clinicians and researchers that can be easily integrated
into current curriculae nationwide.
“We want to raise awareness across disciplines,”