NARI’s submission to the Victorian Royal Commission into mental health argues that older age depression should be taken seriously, not just regarded as a normal part of ageing. We also argue that more research is needed to develop interventions and resources that support older adults, their family carers, service providers, and the broader community. This research needs to acknowledge the lived experience of mental illness across diverse communities, and use the principles of co-design.

Finally, we suggest that several other factors might be considered by the Royal Commission, regarding the mental health of older adults:

  • The benefits of intergenerational exchange.
  • Co-morbidity of depression or anxiety with dementia, pain, and other conditions that may be associated with ageing (such as reduced mobility or incontinence).
  • The relationship between elder abuse and depression.
  • The need for clear, evidence-based approaches to end-of-life care of older adults in the context of the introduction of voluntary assisted dying in Victoria.

NARI's response to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

Contact: Briony Dow