Mental Health News

Mental Health Needs of the Elderly Neglected

A West Australian medical researcher says the largest study of aging men in Australia highlights the need for better strategies to identify and manage mental illness.

The results, published in the latest issue of the Canadian Medical Journal, examined almost 5,500 West Australian men aged 69 and over.

It found those who were depressed were twice as likely to be admitted to hospital for non-psychiatric conditions, largely because they are less likely to take prescribed medication.

Professor Osvaldo Almedia was one of the study's authors, and says a more consistent approach to dealing with mental illness is needed.

"Mental health tends to be a relatively neglected area, it's an area where there's a lot of activity at certain points in time, and then it drops off the radar and people become less interested," he said.

Professor Almedia says increased awareness of mental illness is needed, particularly among the elderly.


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