This year's United Nations (UN) International Day of Older Persons (Monday 1 October) focuses on the human rights of the older person.
The UN’s aspiration to ‘leave no-one behind’ presents particular challenges when it comes to the mental health and wellbeing of older people.
A BACP survey highlighted some of these challenges. It shows that the likelihood of being referred to a talking therapy reduces with age despite indications that older people have better outcomes when they do receive counselling.
Perceptions of the value of counselling also appeared to decrease with age. While fewer than a third of those aged 55-64 agreed that ‘people of my generation know how to manage without counselling’, this increased to over half of those aged 75 and older.
Exploring the role of counselling in improving the lives of older people and promoting the value of talking therapies is a key strategic priority for BACP. Working with members and partner organisations, we're exploring ways to increase the numbers of older people who access therapy, and to increase the availability and provision of counselling to older people.
Want to know more?
You can read regular updates on our activities on our Older people strategy page. Or see the links below to find out how you can get involved or to read the latest blog from one of our members.
Older people expert reference group
Volunteer for BACP: We're looking for members with experience of counselling older people to join the expert reference group working on our older people strategy
Older people round table meetings
Members share their experience of working with older adults at our round table meetings
Life transitions in later life - recapturing meaning
Erin Stevens says creating the necessary space to find and recapture personal meaning amidst grief and loss is likely to form an important part of the therapeutic work with older clients.