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Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for older Adults

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) for older adults with common mental health issues (depression, anxiety) is a national and local south London priority. IAPT is as effective for older people as for those of working age. But the proportion of people over 65 year olds referred to IAPT services is lower than the proportion of the general population.

The Health Innovation Network is currently working with two IAPT providers: Lewisham Psychological Therapies Service and Mind in Bexley.

The project is using Behaviour Science (the study of how people make daily decisions) techniques to increase referrals of older adults (65+) into IAPT services. Typically, this age group tends to respond well to talking therapies but currently have low referral rates as signs of depression and anxiety are often overlooked and assumed to be a result of getting older.

To find out more contact Health Innovation Network Mental Health lead, Aileen Jackson at aileen.jackson@nhs.net