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NYC Office of Actuary NYC Department for the Aging
Mental Health

Mental and emotional health is often identified with positive characteristics like a sense of contentment, the resilience to bounce back from stress or adversity, and the ability to build and maintain meaningful relationships. Optimism and a sense of humor, along with the conviction that life is worth living, are also thought to be key, while many consider flexibility to be an essential trait.  These are all qualities that are too important to take for granted. Just as you commit to building and maintaining your physical health if you want to age well, you need to invest in your mental health. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to promote your mental wellness.

Read strategies and tips for good mental health
Read more tips for improving your mental health

Risks for Mental Health

Depression and anxiety are not normal parts of aging. The idea that you should ignore symptoms because they’re “just part of aging” is a serious misconception. It condemns millions of older Americans to needless suffering. Depression and anxiety are serious but entirely treatable medical illnesses. Getting help can mean the difference between a healthy, fulfilled life and ongoing distress and disability.

Read more about depression in older adults
Read about the common signs of depression (in PDF)
Read about the signs of stress/anxiety (in PDF)
Read about Alzheimer’s disease
Download A Guide to Aging, Medicines and Alcohol

Find Mental Health Assistance


NYC Well is a free, confidential, multi-lingual mental health and substance abuse information, referral, and crisis hotline available to anyone at anytime. Your call will be answered by a trained behavioral health professional.  

For assistance in English, call 1-888-692-9355.
For assistance in Spanish, call 1-888-692-9355.
For assistance in Chinese, call 1-888-692-9355.
711 (TTY for hearing impaired)

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or severe emotional distress. Your call is routed to the nearest crisis center to you. If you are feeling desperate, alone or hopeless, it’s important to call 1-800-273-TALK.

NYC Medicare Mental Health Provider Directory is maintained by Cornell University’s Weill Medical College. It lists more than 1,000 NYC-based mental health specialists, including psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and social workers who can assist with all areas of geriatric mental health.

The Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter offers information and referral services, a 24/7 helpline, support groups and a wealth of information and resources to help individuals and families. Call their helpline at 1-800-272 or call 1-800-272-3900 to be connected to the New York Chapter.

The Geriatric Mental Health Foundation offers assistance finding a geriatric psychiatrist. It also has a wealth of information about psychiatric and mental diseases affecting older persons.