In news from our region, the annual Atlantic Provinces Psychiatric Association meeting was held in Saint John New Brunswick on June 9th to 11th for psychiatrists from our four Atlantic Provinces. The keynote speaker was world renowned geriatric psychiatrist and past president of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Dilip V. Jeste. Dr. Jeste spoke about Positive Psychiatry of Aging, a new branch of our field that he is leading to promote the science of healthy aging, mental wellness and resilience. These are areas of significant need for development in the context of a growing senior population and a system currently focused on pathological aging. Dr. Jeste will also be the keynote speaker at the upcoming CAGP Annual Scientific Meeting this fall to discuss this important paradigm shift.
The Atlantic Seniors Mental Health Network (ASMHN), established in 2010, joined forces this past year with the Canadian Coalition for Seniors Mental Health (CCSMH), the Seniors Health Network (SHN), Baycrest’s Geriatric Mental Health Program (GEMH) and Geriatric Mental Health Interprovincial Education Program (GeMIE) to form a larger network for active Continuing Professional Development in Atlantic Canada. Our regional physician representatives are: Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy (Chair, Nova Scotia, GEMIE), Dr. Sarah Thompson (New Brunswick), Dr. Yomi Otusajo (Prince Edward Island) and Dr. Catherine Hickey (Newfoundland), and Dr. Cindy Grief (Baycrest, GeMH, GeMIE). Drs. Grief and Cassidy will be presenting on this GEMIE collaboration at the upcoming CAGP ASM—come to the workshop to offer your input and ideas to expand this exciting CPD program into other regions.
The Dalhousie Geriatric Psychiatry Program focused on several major projects over the last year including:
1) Fountain of Health Initiative for Optimal Aging,
2) Dalhousie Enhanced Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Program, and
3) Royal College subspecialty Training Program.
1) Fountain of Health Initiative for Optimal Aging
In terms of the Fountain of Health Initiative for Optimal Aging, this national seniors’ mental health promotion initiative was developed at Dalhousie University to provide evidence-based information on healthy aging, and health change behavior tools for use by the public, and by clinicians. The five key areas of healthy aging include: social activity, positive attitudes towards aging, physical activity, taking care of one’s mental health and lifelong learning. Please visit http://fountainofhealth.ca for more information or to try the clinician tools including the Clinician’s Guide (see http://fountainofhealth.ca/clinicians-corner). Of note, Dr. Beverley Cassidy presented on the Fountain of Health Initiative at the International Psychogeriatric Association conference in Berlin, Germany, and Dalhousie psychiatry resident Dr. Vanessa Thoo published a peer-reviewed paper, “The Fountain of Health: Bringing Seniors’ Mental Health Promotion into Clinical Practice” in the Canadian Geriatrics Journal (CGJ vol. 18 no. 4 pp.217-224). Dr. Thoo also received a CAGP Resident Research Award last year, and since completed subspecialty training at the University of Toronto…
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Submitted by: Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy