Brain Health and Mental Health
Brain health is the state of brain functioning across cognitive, sensory, social-emotional, behavioral and motor domains, allowing a person to realize their full potential over their life course. Our brain and central nervous system influence every aspect of our life, and if our brains are challenged by disease or other factors, this poses significant risks to overall health and well-being. As we age, our brains change and experience normal brain aging, but there are ways to maintain brain health. By prioritizing brain health we can reduce the prevalence and burden of neurological disorders and improve the mental and physical health of older adults.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and affects us in every part of our lives including our ability to cope with the stresses of life. Over 20% of adults age 60 and over suffer from a mental or neurological disorder. It is critical to address the mental health needs of Utah’s older adult community by reducing the stigma and increasing awareness of these needs.
UCOA Policy Position:
UCOA believes that mental/brain health is a basic human right. As such, the commission supports awareness and education about mental health conditions among the older adult community to reduce the stigma around mental health and increase mental health awareness in the state of Utah. UCOA also advocates for optimizing brain health across the lifespan.