This cross-sectoral round table is a collaboration between VHS, Support in Mind Scotland and Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh.
There is an urgent need to shine a light into the evident chasm into which people fall at age 65 if they either have a long-standing mental health condition (e.g. schizophrenia) or if they develop one (e.g. depression or anxiety).
The round table discussion will focus on what happens to people with mental health conditions other than dementia once they become 65. The issues concern under-diagnosis, under-provision, and poor transitions from ‘adult’ services to ‘older people’ services, discrimination and flouting of human rights. We believe this is a policy as well as a practice issue. People with schizophrenia are living longer thanks to better care and treatment, but health and care services are not adapting fast enough to the needs of frail older people with serious mental health conditions. For some people living with schizophrenia, their 65th birthday may trigger the removal their Community Psychiatric Nurse as they may no longer qualify for ‘adult’ services, and we have heard of admissions to locked dementia wards for want of other care options. The mental health strategy had little to say about older people’s mental health other than dementia and we fear the forthcoming older people’s framework will focus largely on ‘ageing well’ and say little about mental health.
More evidence and action is needed if policy and practice is to improve. The round table will share evidence from key stakeholders about gaps, discrimination and any good practice and scope out an action plan to undertake some formal research/evidence gathering.
This is a by-invitation event, but if you have a particular interest and believe you have something to contribute to the discussion, please contact Lauren Blair.