Just 6.3% of people referred for NHS psychological help are older than 65, shows study

GPs are giving too many older people antidepressants when they are struggling with depression, and should prescribe talking therapies far more often, according to new research.

Family doctors too often avoid talking to patients over the age of 65 about depression and do not have the time to explore and treat the condition properly, the study found.

Related: Antidepressants work – but we need to talk, too | Rhik Samadder

Related: Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?

In the UK, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can contact the mental health charity Mind by calling 0300 123 3393 or visiting mind.org.uk. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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26 March 2019