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Belfast Healthy Cities

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Healthy Cities 21st Century

Promoting Healthy Minds for Older People on World Mental Health Day

Promoting Healthy Minds for Older People

To mark World Mental Health Day, on Thursday 10 October, Belfast Healthy Cities highlighted the importance of good mental wellbeing for people as they grow older. The latest WHO World Health Assembly, in May 2013, identified older people as a group with a particular risk of experiencing mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.

There are many things that older people can do to maintain their own health, but there is also a role for decision makers, families and wider society.<--break->

Actions that could help include:

  • Addressing Poverty - Older people can be more vulnerable to poverty which can increase worry and stress.
  • Improving Awareness - Mental health issues in older people are often under identified. There is a need to improve the awareness and understanding of conditions, their impact and how they can be treated.
  • Better Access to Support - While there are many excellent support services in Northern Ireland, older people are often reluctant to seek help. More could to be done by everyone to reduce the stigma associated with conditions such as depression and anxiety.
  • Maintaining Strong Relationships - Being close to families and having good social connections supports older people to maintain an active role in society which in turns improves confidence and self-esteem and leads to a better sense of wellbeing.
  • Promoting Opportunities for More Physical Activity - Increasing physical activity levels has positive effects on the body and mind. Gentle exercise like a walk with friends or an arm chair aerobics can boost energy and positivity.

Download full press release

How To Look After Mental Health in Later Life Publication from Mental Health Foundation