Older People’s Mental Health Expert Advisory Group - Invitation for written comments

04 July 2019

Older People’s Mental Health Expert Advisory Group are inviting written comments on three questions on psychological therapies in older people with severe mental illnesses.

The three questions are:

1.    What is your assessment of the demand for psychological therapies and their efficacy in older people with severe mental illnesses?

2.    Do you know of any evidence or service promoting psychological therapies in older people with severe mental illnesses?

3.    Any further comments or recommendations?

Comments to be emailed to communications [at] bgs [dot] org [dot] uk by Wednesday 10 July 

Background:

• Access to evidence-based psychological therapies for psychosis, bipolar and ‘personality disorder’ is rare in mental health services for older people (MHSOP).

• Evidence for psychological therapies for those with SMI has only emerged in last 20 years. Most if not all research trials have focused on working age adults, therefore no available evidence for those 65+.

• Less awareness of evidence for psychological therapies in MHSOP as evidence and guidelines are working-age adult focused.

• Prevalence of ‘SMI’ is lower in older adults:

- Premature mortality in those with SMI - many people die before the age of 70.
- People diagnosed with SMI may recover.
- Less common to diagnose ‘personality disorder’ in over 65s.