May 17th, 2018
As most of you have already seen across the internet, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week – a hugely important issue that needs to be discussed and removed of all stigma.
Mental illness is especially prevalent in the older generation, whose population in the UK is ageing rapidly, with the number of people aged 65 and over growing by nearly half in the past 30 years. According to a study by Age Concern and the Mental Health Foundation in 2006, the key 5 factors that affect the mental health of older people are:
- Participation in meaningful activities
- Physical Health
Depression affects around 22% of men and 28% of women aged 65 years and over¹, yet it is estimated that 85% of older people with depression receive no help at all from the NHS². This is a huge number, and something that needs tackling in our society.
The most important issue that people are trying to raise during Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 is trying to erase the stigma towards mental illness, and making sure that people know that it’s okay to not be okay. This is also applicable when it comes to Dementia – in Wales alone, diagnosis rates are just 43.4%, which means there are still nearly 25,000 people in Wales who are living with dementia but who have not been diagnosed³.
Any form of awareness & visibility slowly chips away at the stigma behind finding help for people who need it the most, and it’s important to keep the conversation flowing & getting people talking about these issues in our society.