Mental health is an integral part of health, that is, the mental, physical, spiritual and social wellbeing of an individual. In older age and especially in transition phases in later life its importance is evident.
The Mirakle – Building Blocks for the Mental Wellbeing of Older People -project (2012-2016) developed materials and activities that support and promote mental health. Instead of concentrating on problems or losses, the Mirakle-project focused on strengths and competences that people possess. Older people are independent, capable citizens with existing mental health skills, such as emotional and awareness skills, life skills, resilience and coping skills.
All the activities and materials were co-created together with the older people. Mirakle-project was interested in how older people themselves see and conceptualize their situation and circumstance. The developed service models include various peer groups reinforcing mental wellbeing and crisis services provided by different NGO´s. In addition, the project produced self-help and other materials that increase knowledge and skills of both older citizens and professionals.
The project worked in close cooperation with three other NGO´s: the Pensioners’ Union, the Central Association of Finnish Pensioners and the Union for Senior Services. The project was funded by the Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY) and it was part of RAY’s Active Age – Never mind the years Programme, coordinated by the Central Union for the Welfare of the Aged.
Maintaining, supporting, promoting and and taking care of your mental health and mental health skills are at least as important as taking care of your physical health – at any age!