Older people and mental health – informing national policy implementation

Section: Policy into PracticeType: News Item Date Published: 20th September 2021

The ALLIANCE and partners have published a report aimed at helping the Scottish Government's Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan.

On 25 August 2021, the ALLIANCE, Age Scotland, See Me, and Voices Of eXperience (VOX) held a consultation event to discuss older adults’ mental health and their experiences of mental health and social care services both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose of the event was to gather information and insight from people with lived experience, and those who support and work with older people. We will be sharing the report with the Scottish Government to aid their understanding, inform policy, and help ensure mental health policy is equalities and human rights focussed.

The Scottish Government has made a commitment to provide equal opportunities to access effective mental health support and services. To achieve this, they have published the Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan (this link will take you away from our website).. Within this Plan is an action to fully understand and respond to the wide-ranging mental health impacts of COVID-19 on older people.

The Plan is also supported by the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Equality and Human Rights Stakeholder Forum. The purpose of this Forum is to identify and highlight relevant equality and human rights evidence and research in relation to mental health policy. The ALLIANCE, Age Scotland, See Me and VOX are all Forum members.

At the consultation event, the questions discussed were:

  • What are older people’s experiences of mental health issues, and how does this compare to other age groups?
  • What has been the impact of the pandemic on older people’s mental health?
  • What were older people’s experiences of accessing mental health services and social care like before the pandemic?
  • What have older people’s experiences of accessing mental health services been like during the pandemic?
  • What are the experiences of different population groups amongst older people, for example based on sex, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, location, household income, etc?

The event was attended by older people and those who work with and support older people. Using the feedback gathered during the event we have been able to draw out key themes that provide insight into older people and mental health.

You can read the consultation event report at the link below.

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