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Mental health debate group call for action

As formal consultation on the National Dementia Strategy for England begins, key organisations are calling for action from the Government in addressing a full range of ‘later life’ mental health problems.

The people and organisations endorsing this call firmly believe that this should only mark the beginning of a comprehensive commitment.  With depression affecting three times as many older people as dementia, they believe that dementia cannot and should not be seen in isolation from the rest of mental illness in older people.

Professor Paul Kingston from Staffordshire University’s Centre for Aging and Mental Health, one of the key organisations involved, said: “Contributors to this consensus believe that all mental health issues in later life must be accorded the highest priority in terms of sustained vision, leadership and policy ownership, not falling through gaps between mental health and older people’s policies.”

“This issue affects each and every one of us – there is a clear imperative to act and make older people’s mental health a national priority.”

“We call for concerted action from the government, responsible health and social care agencies and professional and third sector organisations, to address the issues contained in this evidence based statement before it is too late.”

The key organisations involved in the consensus statement are: Age Concern, BPS Faculty of Old Age, PRIMHE, RCN, RCGP, RC Psychiatrists and Staffordshire University Centre for Aging and Mental Health.

To download the consensus statement, visit: www.olderpeoplesmentalhealth.csip.org.uk/if

For further information please contact Staffordshire University Professor Paul Kingston on p.kingston@staffs.ac.uk