MYTH:  Most Older People have a Mental Health Problem And Need Mental Health Treatment.



Being older does not necessarily mean that one has mental problems. In fact, even though those 60+ years of age make up 12% of the population, they account for only 6% of the caseload of community mental health centers, and only 2% of the caseload of mental health private practice. However, while the majority of older people do not generally experience any severe mental problems, they do appear to be overrepresented in inpatient mental health populations, as figures show that 60% of public mental hospital beds are occupied by those over 65. Over half of these people receive no psychiatric care prior to their admission, making mental hospital admission their first contact with the mental health system (Myers, 1990).

For Additional Information on this Topic, please check the following:

  A Population Underserved

  Depression versus Other Conditions

  Minds and Bodies

  Normal versus Abnormal "Blues"

  References and Resources

  The Challenges

  Treatment Issues

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