More than six in 10 people in the UK aged 65 or above have experienced depression and anxiety

NHS England, in partnership with Age UK, today announced a new campaign to encourage older people access treatment for mental health conditions.

This is in the wake of a new analysis which reveals more than six in 10 people in the UK aged 65 or above have experienced depression and anxiety, but a majority of them do not seek help.

The campaign aims to boost the number of older people getting the help they need and make them aware of the NHS support services available. It urges GPs to look out for the symptoms of mental health problems in older people.

Alistair Burns, National Clinical Director for Dementia and Older People’s Mental Health at NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “Older people sometimes feel they have to have a ‘stiff upper lip’ towards health, but we all have our own battles to fight and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness, so anyone out there who is feeling down and needs help, can and should get it from the NHS.”

NHS talking therapies for common mental illnesses, delivered through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, have high recovery rates, with more than nine in ten people getting care in good time.

“We should remember that loneliness and isolation can be linked to physical health problems, so getting support through a talking therapist is good for mind and body,” Burns said.

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