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The May Two-For-One Special

By Ty David Lerman, MA, LPC, CHt

May is Older Americans Month and Mental Health Month so both are in the Center’s spotlight. Mental health issues are an increasingly hot topic, but they have always been an essential part of the Montrose Center’s core mission. Dedicating an entire month toward raising awareness—especially when we can pair it up with our continued commitment toward our SPRY Program—it’s just like letting us loose in a candy store!

When the Montrose Center staff talks about the aging population and mental health, isolation is one of the first things mentioned. Looking at our community, we see aging individuals outliving their peers and family, unable to keep up with technology and the cost of living, those who feel abandoned by a youth-oriented culture, as well as many who just physically can’t get out as much. It’s like being a lonely M&M that fell into the couch cushion.

“It’s not hard to see a pattern developing,” says Ty David Lerman, MA, LPC, CHt, a staff therapist at the Montrose Center. Those struggling with isolation believe they face the world alone, without a network of friends or family to support them. Isolation compounds feelings of despair or hopelessness, and that can lead to loneliness and depression. Perhaps the most significant marker is that those who experience isolation—regardless of age— are much more likely to attempt suicide. The good news is that this is not always the case, and the Center works hard to identify, reach out and remove isolation for our community! There is more good news – you can help too!

The Montrose Center’s 4Ever Family Program was established to help familiarize the community—and since you’re reading this, that means you—with skills to see and help prevent suicide. The one-hour training will teach you how to be like a Pez dispenser of resources and referrals so that you may casually talk about the symptoms of depression. If we are all looking out for each other, like a family does, then we can help prevent the continued loss of life. Help us help our community! We can set up a training here at 401 Branard, or we can have someone come to address your group or meeting.

Candy is not on the menu, but a free hot lunch is served at our popular Montrose Diner Days. Many people tell us they come for the social interaction more than the food. On any given day, you can find a group playing cards (two words: Bridge Mix!) and sharing stories before lunch is served. The Diner is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9am-1pm for LGBT seniors age 60 and older. All you have to do is let us know a couple days ahead of time that you’re coming. The number to call is 713.529.0037 x722. In addition to the Diner, SPRY hosts a number of other social meet-ups every month, including a movie afternoon, game day and potluck.

The Center continues to make our community more integrated and whole by raising awareness and visibility about our mental health needs and the challenges we face as we get older. Our programs are like the Tootsie Roll center of the Montrose Center Tootsie Pop.

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