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Mental Health Services: Older People

Volume 508: debated on Tuesday 23 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to tackle age discrimination in mental health services for older people. (323853)

In December 2009 the Government launched ‘New Horizons: A Shared Vision for Mental Health’, a comprehensive programme for improving the mental health and well-being of the population and services for those with poor mental health. It takes a lifespan approach, from laying down the foundations of good mental health in childhood, through promoting and protecting continued well-being into adulthood, to supporting and maintaining resilience in older age.

We want to make sure that mental health services move away from arbitrary distinctions between working age adults and older adults. We are working with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and others to assist mental health service providers to develop age-appropriate non-discriminatory services. As a first step, ‘New Horizons’ provides the descriptors of such services, to assist in this work.