Elderly need better mental health care

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Depression among the elderly is three times as common as dementia, and must be addressed in the Scottish Government’s mental health strategy, Labour has warned.

Alcohol abuse, psychosis and suicide rates among older people were also concerning, Dr Richard Simpson told MSPs.

Speaking during a Holyrood debate on mental health, the Labour MSP said good progress had been made in recent years, but he highlighted areas where further work was needed.

Dr Simpson said: “Depression in the elderly is estimated to have a prevalence of around 13.4 per cent and is predicted by the World Health Organisation to be the second highest health burden in the western world by 2020, and is strongly linked to disability. And yet, only 10-15 per cent are treated.”