We’re pleased to welcome the support of national older people’s charity Independent Age for our campaign helping the country’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The campaign highlights the long-term mental health challenges the population will face including bereavement and loss, anxiety and loneliness and relationships as well as the psychological impact on key workers, BAME communities and of economic recession.
Independent Age is the latest organisation to pledge support to the campaign, which has been backed by a powerful coalition of professional bodies, service providers, trainers and therapists, and has received more than 10,000 signatures.
Deborah Alsina, CEO of Independent Age, said: "We are proud to be supporting the BACP to raise awareness of the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the mental health of people in later life.
“Many factors affect our mental health as we grow older, and the pandemic has had a negative impact on all of us.
"As well as feelings of acute anxiety around the Covid-19 outbreak, and the intensified isolation and loneliness, many people in later life will also be experiencing grief.
"Our own most recent estimates found that up to 85,000 older people may have suffered the death of a partner since the start of the lockdown. This is one and a half times as many as in the same period in each of the five previous years.
“Worryingly, although people in later life are more likely to benefit from treatments such as talking therapies, they are less likely to receive this valuable support.
"In too many cases partner bereavement, low mood, and depression are seen as simply a part of growing older. It doesn’t have to be this way.
"It’s more important than ever that people in later life get access to the psychological support they need to improve their mental health and wellbeing, especially as we look ahead to a tough winter that could involve more social isolation and a possible second spike.”
Jeremy Bacon, our Older People Lead, said: "Many older people have been profoundly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, experiencing increased isolation and anxiety of being identified amongst high-risk groups.
"Our members have found new ways to continue working with many, but not all their older clients and it’s vital that autonomy and choice for older people continues to be at the heart of this work.
“We welcome the support of Independent Age for the campaign calling on the UK governments to recognise the psychological impact of the pandemic and to ensure that access to psychological therapies is available for everyone who needs them.
“We already know that older people are less likely to recognise and act on feelings linked to common mental health problems and it’s vital that barriers to services that existed prior to the pandemic are not further compounded.”
You can show your support for the campaign by writing to your Member of Parliament or devolved representatives, using this online letter tool.
It will ensure they understand how the pandemic is affecting communities and individuals and emphasise the role therapy can play in rebuilding the country.