Thursday, July 2, 2020
10:00 a.m - 12:00 n. (EDT)

Theme of the webinar: MHPSS/COVID-19 series: A closer look at the needs of older adults

The Webinar is part of the Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPS)/COVID-19 Webinar Series and was held by the Caribbean Subregional coordination and the Mental Unit at the Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. The webinar took place on Thursday, 2 July, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT). The session was in English.

Target audience: Public health officials, health care workers, decision makers, older adults, caregivers, general population. 

Objective(s) of the meeting: 

To provide an opportunity to take a closer look at the needs of this diverse group during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a discussion of good mental health and brain health, and an overview of WHO/PAHO resources and communication materials.

Brief synthesis of the topics: 

The older population is incredibly diverse. Most older adults are capable of coping and adapting, despite the increased likelihood of declining capacity as they age, and contribute immeasurably to their families and communities in various roles. Given their strong community ties, older adults are well placed to communicate messages and provide mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to their peers and families. However, older adults are also at higher of developing more severe symptoms of COVID-19, and of dying as a result. Older adults may have limited access to accurate information and are more likely to fall victim to misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic; while the stress and social isolation associated with measures put in place to contain COVID-19 may exacerbate underlying mental health or neurological conditions, which may have impacts on psychosocial well-being and/or worsen cognitive decline. The Webinar provided an opportunity to take a closer look at the needs of this diverse group during the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • COVID-19 and older adults: good mental and brain health. Katrin Seeher and Stéfanie Fréel
  • PAHO communication materials for older adults in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Claudina Cayetano
  • Questions & Answers, and discussion. Elisa Prieto.
Speakers. Brief summary of the curriculum: 
  • Katrin Seeher and Stéfanie Fréel, Brain Health Unit, WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Use.
  • Claudina Cayetano. Advisor, Mental Health, PAHO. Questions & Answers, and discussion.
  • Elisa Prieto. Advisor, NCD and Mental Health, PAHO.
Mental Health Services, needs of older adults, older population, COVID-19
Recording access: