Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health: A New Initiative

David K. Conn, MB, FRCPC, Psychiatrist-in-Chief, Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON; President, Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry; Co-Chair, Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health.

Shelly Haber, BA, MHSc, Project Director, Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health.

Ken LeClair, MD, FRCPC, Professor and Chair, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Queen's University, Kingston, ON.; Co-Chair, Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health.

A national symposium entitled Canadian Invitational Symposium on Gaps in Mental Health Services for Seniors in Long-Term Care Facilities was held on April 28-29, 2002 in Toronto. The participants, who represented more than 65 organizations from across Canada, included national and provincial associations, policymakers, consumers, service providers, educators, researchers and representatives from private industry. The main outcome of the symposium was overwhelming support for the establishment of the Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health, the purpose of which is to improve the mental health of seniors through a coordinated national strategy. The Coalition's first priority will focus on the needs of seniors living in long-term care facilities.