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Mental Health in Older People: A Practice Primer

NHS England and NHS Improvement have collaborated with AgeUK, the RCGP, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Geriatric Society to produce this document, described as A brief summary of mental health problems in older people, not directly related to physical illness or brain disease. Aimed primarily at the primary care team, particularly GPs.

It aims to equip readers to:

  • Describe distinctive features of common mental health problems in older adults
  • Be confident to diagnose and treat common mental health problems in older adults
  • Be aware of the interaction between physical and mental health in older people
  • Distinguish functional mental illness from dementia, and identify patients who merit referral to specialist care
  • Develop a strategy for yourself and your practice to improve the detection and management of mental illnesses in older adults
  • Use and monitor psychotropic medications safely