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Older people and mental health

Exploring older adults’ mental health experiences before and during the Coronavirus pandemic

In August 2021, Age Scotland, the ALLIANCE, See Me and Voices of eXperience (VOX) held a consultation event with older people to discuss their mental health and experiences of accessing mental health services, both before and during the pandemic. 

We aimed to gather insight from people with lived experience and those who work with and support older people. The findings of our report will be shared with the Scottish Government to aid their understanding, inform policy, and help ensure mental health policy is equalities and human rights focused.

Age Scotland, the ALLIANCE, See Me and VOX are members of the Scottish Government’s Mental Health Equality and Human Rights Stakeholder Forum, whose purpose is to identify and highlight relevant equality and human rights evidence and research in relation to mental health policy.


At the consultation event, we asked people about:

  • What are older people’s experiences of mental health issues, and how does this compare to other age groups?
  • What has been the impact of the pandemic on older people’s mental health?
  • What were older people’s experiences of accessing mental health services and social care like before the pandemic?
  • What have older people’s experiences of accessing mental health services been like during the pandemic?
  • What are the experiences of different population groups amongst older people, for example based on sex, gender identity, ethnicity, sexual orientation, location, household income, etc?

The Age Scotland Helpline

Our free 0800 12 44 222 helpline is a free, confidential phone service for older people, their carers and families in Scotland. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.

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