Chelsea Hospital sponsors a second Mood Lifters for Seniors mental health program at the Dexter Wellness Center

Starting on September 6, Dexter area community members 65 years and older will have the opportunity to participate in a novel mental wellness program specifically adapted for seniors by University of Michigan researchers. The in-person group is being offered through the Dexter Senior Center at a minimal cost, thanks to generous sponsorship by Chelsea Hospital as a part of the hospital’s response to increasing mental health needs in Michigan communities and concerns related to access to effective, accessible, timely care.

Mood Lifters answers those concerns. Mood Lifters is a novel mental wellness program for people who are ready to make positive changes in their lives. This includes those dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, difficult relationships, and more. Mood Lifters offers proven, research-based strategies for group members to apply to their own situations and to reach their individual goals.

The isolation caused by the pandemic has hit seniors’ mental well-being especially hard. One survey from July 2020 showed that nearly 50% of adults 65 years and older felt that their mental health was negatively influenced by coronavirus‐related worries. To address this, Mood Lifters worked with a team of researchers from the University of Michigan to design Mood Lifters for Seniors – a 14-week program specifically tailored to the needs of adults ages 65+ to address challenges commonly faced in later life. 

“My 20 years of clinical experience has helped shape every chapter of Mood Lifters for Seniors as a guide for successful aging.” Dr. Susan M. Maixner; Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Program, at the University of Michigan and Mood Lifters Member.

Chelsea Hospital has elected to provide Mood Lifters because of its evidence-based strategies and data-demonstrated effectiveness. On average, members have shown significant reductions in anxiety, depression and stress, and better sleep, relationships, and positive emotions. In the words of a former member: “Mood Lifters has helped me more than decades of therapy. It provided ways for me to deal with serious changes in my life that may have otherwise devastated me.”

University of Michigan Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, Patricia Deldin, Ph.D., Founder and Creator of Mood Lifters said, “Chelsea Hospital is demonstrating their forward-looking vision by providing evidence-based mental-wellness care to Dexter area seniors with this second group of Mood Lifters for Seniors in the 5 Healthy Towns service area.”

The Mood Lifters program works differently than a therapy or support group. Each week, a trained peer-leader leads discussion around a specific, science-based strategy around behavior, thoughts, emotions, physical health, and social connection. Over the following week, group members will try to use the strategies covered in each meeting into their day-to-day life. The support and ideas from a group of peers is just another ingredient in the recipe for improved mental health.

Mood Lifters members often refer to the program as a class and say that working with peer leaders in their group is their favorite aspect and find it to be “a supportive place to learn new skills to help cope with the stress that life brings.” Local area resident, Amy Heydlauff, has experienced the Mood Lifter program and puts it another way. "Mood Lifters isn't just for talking it through. It's learning how to impact your own mood. Learning how to take action and fix the things weighing you down."

The full 14-week program of Mood Lifters for Seniors is being offered in person at the Dexter Wellness Center starting on September 6th for only $25 to residents of Dexter and surrounding communities, aged 65 and older. Call the Dexter Senior Center at (734)426-7737 to register or reach out via email to for more information.

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