Loneliness Strategy consultation
In July we responded to a call for evidence on approaches to a Loneliness Strategy for England. We expressed alarm that despite AGE UK estimates of 1.2 million chronically lonely older people in the UK, age was not identified in the consultation document as a specific risk factor for loneliness. Our submission highlighted the links between loneliness and common mental health problems, the need to address psychological barriers to engagement and the role that counselling can play in supporting people to overcome loneliness.
We're pleased to have been able to include in our response examples of innovative practice from BACP members working with older adults. You can find full details of the consultation on the government website.
In a recent blog for Independent Age's Ageism Plus campaign, our older people lead Jeremy Bacon says ageing doesn’t have to mean sadness, loneliness and decline and there is no upper age limit to benefiting from counselling. In Mental health – a casualty of ageism, he says "Ageism is the foundation of barriers that keep the common mental health problems of older people hidden and untreated".
As well as mental health, the Ageism Plus campaign looks at ageism from many perspectives, such as ageism and work, ageism and sexism, and ageism and disability. The campaign aims to "showcase diversity, call out prejudice and find ways of eliminating discrimination for good".
Promoting working with older people to BACP members
We're still inviting members to join our older people expert reference group to support our work to increase access and provision of therapy to older people. If you're interested, please register through the BACP volunteers scheme.