Under Referral of Older People to Mental Health Services
Posted on Sep 14, 2017 by Richard
It's very saddening to read that older people in our society are still not getting proper access to mental health facilities, such as talking therapies.
The authors of a new study claim that elderly patients are being 'under-referred' for talking therapies, despite evidence suggesting that they benefit more than younger ones.
Their study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, examined more than 80,000 referrals for patients from the South West of England.
They found that the proportion of patients being identified with common mental health problems peaks for patients aged 20-24, where 23% are referred for talking therapies. This "reduces with age", they said.
Just 6% of 70-74 year old's were referred for talking therapy they found.
The researchers also looked at patient outcomes and found that the proportion of those showing clinical improvements increases with age.They also found that older patients were more likely to keep their appointments.
"The study showed that older adults with common mental health problems are being under-referred, but benefit more than younger individuals once they obtain access to the service", the authors wrote.
The Government has promised millions of pounds on new resources for mental health services in the UK. I can only hope that they recognise the findings of this, and similar reports, and do not neglect the needs of older generation in favour of our younger generation when it comes to access to talking therapies.