27 September 2023

Plans to revise city for older citizens

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The mental health and wellbeing of older Canberrans can be improved by building a more inclusive city according to a new strategy being promoted by ACT Health.

Welcoming ACT Health’s strategy entitled Re-envisioning Older Persons Mental Health and Wellbeing in the ACT Strategy, the Minister for Mental Health, Emma Davidson said the Strategy would guide priorities and initiatives over the next five years, to make the Territory more inclusive and supportive of positive ageing.

“Better access to quality mental health support for our ageing population means they can live healthier lives as active members of our community,” Ms Davidson said.

“It means more time and for stronger relationships and to share their knowledge and experiences,” she said.

“Canberra has one of the highest standards of health and wellbeing for older people across the country, yet many still experience poor mental health due to changes in lifestyle following retirement, increased susceptibility to chronic conditions, and the social and emotional challenges that are, at times, associated with ageing.”

Ms Davidson said the Strategy would also strengthen collaboration across areas to improve responses and support services that promote the mental health of older persons so they can live well as they aged.

She said that to respond to the needs of older Canberrans requiring mental health care, the Strategy proposed 25 actions across three priority areas to build mentally healthy communities, enhance the lives and experiences of older Canberrans with mental illness, and improve structural and system capacity.

“In the first two years of the strategy, we will undertake a number of research and scoping projects to address key concerns for our ageing community including suicide prevention, homelessness and access to culturally sensitive services,” the Minister said.

“These actions will be undertaken with close collaboration and coordination between the ACT Government, service providers and community organisations so our older people are supported in accessing the right kinds of mental health and community supports when they need them.”

ACT Health’s 11-page Strategy for older persons’ mental health and wellbeing can be accessed at this PS News link.

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