Bruce Ricker, D.O., is a physician in the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic and cares for many elderly patients. “Senior Life Solutions has been invaluable,” he says. “I’ve referred so many people to the program and seen firsthand how it helps with recovery for depression and stressful life circumstances.” He adds that being able to offer it locally in Ringgold County is so important. “There are people who aren’t able to travel well, or no longer drive. The staff will pick them up and bring them to counseling. It keeps them from being socially isolated.” Dr. Ricker has observed that patients tend to do better with a holistic approach. He can prescribe medication for depression, but medication plus counseling together gets the best results. “Patients find out that even if the life situation that got them to the program is different from others in the group, coping mechanisms can be very similar and they can really learn from each other.” He added that just getting out of the house and being with other people can be beneficial in itself.

A physician’s point of view: Bruce Ricker, D.O.The real success of Senior Life Solutions is the staff, according to Dr. Ricker. “For them, it’s not just a job, it’s a profession and a passion. They are really in it to help people, and our community is blessed.”

• 1 in 5 adults in America experience a mental illness.
• Nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in America live with a serious mental illness.
• One-half of all chronic mental illness begin by the age of 14; threequarters by the age of 24.
• 16 million American adults live with major depression.
• 42 million American adults live with anxiety disorders.
• Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease.
• 90% if those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US.