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.

Older people and mental health.

Older people and mental health.
beginning of content

Older people and mental health

Mental health needs change as people age. This is the result of changes in the biological, social, and psychological world each person inhabits.

Common mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety remain, but the symptoms can be different in older people. Age-related cognitive changes also impact on mental health.

Follow the links below to find trusted information about mental health of older people.



Seniors' mental health

Compared to other age groups, older Australians generally have good mental health. However, due to a perceived stigma around mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, they are less likely to seek help or support unless at a crisis point.

Learn more about the mental health of older Australians.

Last reviewed: February 2014

Recommended links

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 169 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

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

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

Mental health resources for seniors

Trusted information about older people and mental health from leading Australian health organisations.

Read more on mindhealthconnect 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 services :: SA Health

Mental health services in South Australia. Where to get help: crisis, counselling, support, advocacy and complaint services.

Read more on SA Health 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

Older people's services :: SA Health

Older people's services - to meet the future health needs of an older population, SA Health provides a range of services for older people.

Read more on SA Health website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

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