The St. Mary’s Research Centre Team Win a Seniors’ Mental Health Outstanding Care & Integrative Practice Award

Mark Yaffe and Jeannie Haggerty, Professors at the Department of Family Medicine, are part of the St. Mary's Research Team, namely Direct Intervention via Referral, Education, and Collaborative Treatment – Self Care (DIRECT-sc) which has been recognized by the Canadian Coalition for Seniors' Mental Health (CCSMH) and the Canadian Academy of Geriatric Psychiatry (CAGP) for their achievements in seniors’ mental healthcare and integrative practice. This interdisciplinary group of affiliated members with the St. Mary’s Research Centre has dedicated two decades to improving the management of depression among older adults. Their work focuses on the intricate needs of older adults with chronic physical conditions and depression.

The team has actively developed, evaluated, and disseminated depression self-care interventions tailored for different contexts, emphasizing the importance of self-care in mental health. Their depression self-care toolkit, designed specifically for community-based patients with chronic physical conditions, acknowledges the vital link between mental and physical health. The team has shown the feasibility of delivering supported depression self-care using cognitive behavioral therapy principles. This innovative, accessible, and low-cost model employs trained lay guides recruited from local communities, leading to significantly better depression outcomes compared to conventional care. The guidance is delivered through telephone or internet modalities.

The DIRECT-sc team ensures that at all stages of the research process, older adults and their caregivers actively participate in the development and evaluation of their interventions, fostering a patient-centered approach that promotes empowerment and well-being. Their commitment to sharing knowledge at regional, national, and international levels has facilitated the adoption of effective practices and interventions in various settings.

Read the official announcement here:






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