Assessing the Mental Health Needs of Older People

Nadira Sharif

in Social Work

ISBN: 9780195389678
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:
Assessing the Mental Health Needs of Older People


This bibliography identifies resources that provide a general introduction to the mental health of older people and assessment of mental health needs within social work settings. Reference is also made to various mental health conditions, including dementia and depression, the two major conditions affecting older people. This bibliography takes a holistic approach to mental health by not only focusing on mental illness but also encompassing well-being to reflect increasing international awareness of the significance of well-being as part of a comprehensive approach to improving mental health. Conceptual frameworks for mental health and well-being need to consider inherent cultural assumptions. The World Health Organization states in a universal definition that mental health is not just about the absence of mental illness, but “...a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community” (see Introductory Works). Mental well-being is related to good physical health and is fundamental to a person’s quality of life. Its benefits extend beyond the individual to include families and wider society. Social work assessments of older people should facilitate the early detection and management of mental health conditions so that eligible individuals, if they wish, can be referred to a range of services, from low-level preventive provision to more specialized intervention for severe cases of mental illness. However, in both health and social care settings, assessments often fail to recognize the mental health needs of older people, especially where these needs are less severe, hence the importance of encouraging user-led assessment.

Article.  7066 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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