COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Groups campaign for mental health services for elderly

Age Concern and the Mental Health Foundation have joined forces to campaign together on gaps in mental health services for older people.

The joint venture was launched last week at a seminar in London in response to fears that a comprehensive review of older people's mental health is overdue.

The long-term aim of the initiative is to improve and raise the profile of older people's mental health by providing support for older people and their carers.

At any one time, around 10 to 15 per cent of the population aged over 65 suffer from depression and it is estimated that by 2026 there will be 840,000 people with dementia in the UK.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, the foundation's chief executive, said: "There is a gap in service provision, policy and listening to older people about what they need."

Age Concern's director-general, Gordon Lishman, added: "Individuals' needs do not suddenly stop because of their age. This must be recognised and reflected in better service provision."

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