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    Mental health is a difficult topic for many, and as we age, we often focus on physical aches and pains and ignore the signs of depression, anxiety and dementia. Pondering this, I reached out to Dr. Murali Rao as he aims to help strip away the stigma with his informative, no-nonsense guide to mental health in the context of aging, 50+ and Healthy: What You Need to Know About Mental Health and Healthy Aging — for You and Your Loved Ones.



    The Importance of Mental Health as We Age

    The worldwide stay-at-home orders have turned weekend warriors into daily dog walkers, joggers and cyclists — all hoping to stay fit and avoid the “quarantine 15.” But there’s more to being healthy than having a fit physique. Mental health is equally important, but often gets buried beneath the stigma surrounding it.

    “Many of you recognize that mental illness is often a taboo subject … due to seeming complexity, mystery and stigma,” explains Murali Rao, MD. “Unfortunately, the high discrimination of the subject leads to a statistic of nearly two-thirds of the world population refusing to seek help for mental health related issues.” Adding: “Though this primer is directed towards learning to help elders, the material can readily apply to any age group.”


    Photo courtesy of the CDC

    Rao, an expert on clinical geriatrics and geriatric psychiatry, addresses the concepts of mental health and mental illnesses in the overarching context of healthy aging in 50+ and Healthy: What You Need to Know About Mental Health and Healthy Aging — for You and Your Loved Ones. This exceptionally strong, evidence-based guide emphasizes the importance of nurturing our mental health as we grow older.

    Using easy-to-understand language, he explores common health-related conditions, how to recognize symptoms, practical approaches to treatments and his GAME PLANTM method for helping yourself and your loved ones, of any age, during times of distress or mental health crises.

    For readers of any educational and professional background, 50+ and Healthy offers easily presented information and relatable case studies.


    Photo courtesy of Laura Dewilde

    Dr. Rao comments, “We are holistic beings. Not just a body. Not just a mind. Our physical, emotional, mental and behavioral aspects entwine, entangle  and combine in ways unique to each of us. Knowledge, acted upon, is your personal power to heal and be healthy.”


    With this book, you can learn from a world authority about:

    1. Healthy aging and mental health
    2. Common mental illnesses, why people get them, how to identify them and how to manage them
    3. Practical approaches for first aid and later interventions
    4. Self-care for mental health and successful aging

    If you are interested in healthy aging and how to help yourself, your family members and your friends with mental health, this book is for you. All proceeds from book sales go to a nonprofit organization engaged in mental health awareness education in the United States and India (, founded by the author himself.



    About the Author

    Author Murali Rao, MD, is a professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago. He specializes in liaison and emergency psychiatry. Additionally, he serves as a member of multiple professional bodies including the American College of Psychiatrists, the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, CINP, the Indian Psychiatric Society and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA).

    Dr. Rao has received multiple awards and fellowships, including Distinguished Life Fellow by the APA, Outstanding Academician Award by the Indo-American Psychiatric Association and the Master Teacher Award by the Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Rao has also had more than 80 journal publications, books and book-chapters. He has recently published trainee and trainer manuals on Adult Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Workplace Mental Health.

    For more information, please visit, or follow the author on Twitter at @MuraliRaoMD.


    Final thoughts

    For healthy aging and with special emphasis on brain health and mental health, 50 + and Healthy is sooo easy-to-digest and expertly addresses these vast challenges faced in ourselves and our families.  I found the quizzes inside this book to be very insightful. I’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time—it took me one evening to read this 128 page book in its entirety.   I recommend this book if you want insight and information on aging and mental illness that’s easy to understand.

    The Badass Writer received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

    50 + and Healthy: What You Need to Know About Mental Health and Healthy Aging — for You and Your Loved Ones

    Publisher: Loyola University Chicago

    ISBN-10: 1735177504

    ISBN-13: 978-1735177502

    Available from



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