The mental health of older people is often overlooked, with much depression and anxiety in older adults across the UK unrecognised, undiagnosed and untreated. Research shows that the likelihood of being prescribed medication and not referred to therapy increases with age.

We believe that age should not be a barrier to receiving treatment and support whenever it is needed and that’s why we have developed our older people strategy.

Working with BACP members, a range of partner organisations and across the full range of BACP functions, we are exploring ways to:

  1. increase the numbers of older people who access therapy
  2. increase the availability and provision of counselling to older people

We’re taking a broad view of the definition of ‘older people’ and are focusing on the life events and transitions that happen more frequently (though not exclusively) to people aged 50+. This covers a large number of issues, age-ranges and experiences, including long-term conditions, end of life and bereavement.

Updates - February 2019

Counselling provision in care homes

We want to increase understanding of how counselling can contribute to better outcomes for people in care homes.

We're inviting members who currently have clients living in care homes, or who deliver support or supervision to care home staff, to contribute to the discussions.

To get involved, email

Read our news article: Help us explore counselling provision in care homes

PhD studentship

We're currently offering a PhD studentship for research in the field of counselling older people.

The bursary will cover part-time PhD fees and some expenses up to £7,500 an academic year, for a maximum of five years.

For more information and to apply, please see Research awards and grants.

The deadline for applications is noon on 23 April 2019.


If you would like to share your experience of working with older people, please email