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To order copies of GMHF brochures, visit the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s online bookstore.

A Guide to Mental Wellness in Older Age: Recognizing and Overcoming Depression

How to Use This Depression Recovery Tool Kit

The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation is pleased to provide you with this depression recovery tool kit, A Guide to Mental Wellness in Older Age: Recognizing and Overcoming Depression. The purpose of this kit is to help consumers, in partnership with their health care providers, identify and treat late-life depression.

The message is simple: late-life depression is treatable and recovery is possible. The first challenge in treating depression is identifying the illness and seeking help. You are not alone. Many people experience depressed moods at some point in their lives. When these experiences become severe or last over a period of time, you may be suffering from a depressive illness. Some people won’t tell anyone what they are experiencing; they are afraid that others may not understand, will not take them seriously, or will blame them.

But, the first step to recovery is to tell someone what you are feeling. That person could be a long-time friend, family member, health care provider, or spiritual advisor. They can help you get the assistance you need to feel better. Get treatment now—before it gets worse.

If you are a health care consumer (patient or family member), we urge you to take this material to your health care provider so you can discuss your symptoms and receive the best treatment.

If you are a health care provider, we encourage you to use these materials in your patient education efforts. You may want to give the entire kit to your patient and his or her family member when your patient is first diagnosed. Or you may want to provide different fact sheets as treatment progresses and the patient and their family members require additional information about the illness.

This recovery kit contains a series of fact sheets and resource material to help you get better. The materials include:

To order a copy of this material, please visit the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s online bookstore at

We welcome your feedback. The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to educating the public about late-life mental illness. Please contact us for further information. Our consumer information is located on our website at, which also includes information on how to reach a geriatric psychiatrist in your area. You may also call us at (301) 654-7850 or e-mail

A Guide to Mental Wellness in Older Age: Recognizing and Overcoming Depression

© Geriatric Mental Health Foundation 2004
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 1050
Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Expert assistance was provided by Lissy F. Jarvik, M.D., Professor Emerita of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, University of California-Los Angeles, School of Medicine; Susan Lieff, M.D., M.Ed., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto; and Stephen J. Bartels, M.D., M.S., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School.

The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation grants permission to print, photocopy, and distribute this material. Please cite the Foundation, including the address, phone and website.