Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Older people and mental health

Getting older brings its share of challenges, and at times you may find it difficult to stay mentally healthy and strong.

If feelings like sadness or worry are preventing you from getting the most out of life, help and support is available.

Your mental health is important

Your mental health is a central part of your overall wellbeing. If you don't have good mental health, it's possible you also don't have good self-esteem or you don't feel confident and able to face life and its challenges.

Being mentally healthy is important, not just so you can get through the day but so you can maintain healthy relationships with others, and appreciate life to the full. So if you feel like your mental health is not as good as it could be, look for support before you reach a crisis point (see ‘Where to get help’ below).

Common mental health issues for seniors

Many older people have mental health issues at some point. This may be due to:

Improving your wellbeing

There are plenty of things you can do to improve your mental health and wellbeing. They include:

Find out more here about tips for good mental health and tips for managing stress and staying well. By doing some of these things, you’re giving yourself the best chance of staying mentally healthy. But if despite your best efforts, you are still struggling, it’s a good idea to get some professional support.

Where to get help

Speaking to your doctor about your mental health is a good first step – if necessary, they can refer you to support services that best suit your needs. There are also several excellent organisations that older people can contact for help. They include:

  • My Aged Care (aged care services provided by the Australian government) – call 1800 200 422
  • At Ease (mental health support for veterans, ADF personnel and their family members) – online help
  • beyondblue (for people feeling depressed or anxious) – call 1300 22 4636 or chat online
  • SANE Australia (people living with a mental illness) – call 1800 18 7263
  • Black Dog Institute (people affected by mood disorders) – online help
  • Lifeline (for anyone having a personal crisis) – call 13 11 14 or chat online
  • Suicide Call Back Service (24/7 counselling for anyone thinking about suicide) – call 1300 659 467.

 

Last reviewed: July 2017

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 155 results

Older people

Older people are more likely to experience physical illness or personal loss which are contributing factors to anxiety and depression

Read more on beyondblue website

Anxiety and depression in older people

In Australia, it is estimated that 45 per cent of people will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.

Read more on beyondblue website

Older people and depression

Depression in older people is common and may occur for different reasons. The onset of a physical illness or personal loss and sadness can be common, but depression is not a normal part of ageing. This booklet provides information about depression in older people, tips for keeping active, information on beyondblue programs and interviews with Australians aged over 80 about how they stay mentally healthy.

Read more on beyondblue website

Signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression in older people

Signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression in older people. The symptoms of anxiety in older people are sometimes not all that obvious as they often develop gradually. An older person may be depressed if he or she has felt sad, down or miserable most of the time or has lost interest or pleasure in most of his or her usual activities

Read more on beyondblue website

Depression and anxiety disorders in older people

Depression is more than just a low mood – it’s a serious illness. People with depression find it hard to function every day. Depression can have serious effects on physical and mental health.

Read more on beyondblue website

Mental health difficulties

There are a range of reasons why young children behave the way they do, and many of them are not due to experiencing mental health difficulties. However, if children are showing signs of emotional and/or behavioural difficulties, knowing what to look out for can help you intervene early and better support their needs.

Read more on beyondblue website

Risk factors for older people

Anxiety and depression in older people may occur for different reasons, but physical illness or personal loss can be common triggers.Factors that can increase an older person's risk of developing anxiety or depression can be found on this page.

Read more on beyondblue website

Messages for older people

The messages for older people were to keep participating in activities they enjoy and have a positive attitude.

Read more on Healthtalk Australia website

Our work in reforming the mental health system

beyondblues system reform and access program aims to influence systemic change to reduce barriers and improve the experience to accessing health care

Read more on beyondblue website

Our work with older adults

The beyondblue Older Adults program works to improve the mental health of older Australians by raising awareness of depression and anxiety.

Read more on beyondblue website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback