6 October 2017

Anxiety and Depression Serious Mental Health Conditions for Patients of All Ages Says RCGP

RCGP Chair Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard has welcomed new Age UK research on the worrying number of over 55s experiencing a mental health condition.

She said: "Older people are potentially vulnerable and we have to be careful that we don't normalise depression and anxiety as a routine part of ageing.

"Mental health is a priority for GPs and we work with people with a wide range of mental health problems. However, many older people still feel there is a stigma attached to talking about depression and we need to persuade more people that opening up and talking about their mental health issues is not a sign of weakness.

"Anxiety and depression are potentially serious mental health conditions for people of all ages and must be treated as such.

"GPs are expert medical generalists and are highly trained to deal with patients of all ages with mental health conditions, and prescribe accordingly and appropriately.

"It is essential that we strive to give mental health the same parity of esteem that physical health problems have – in the NHS and throughout society - and in doing so reduce some of the unfortunate, and unwarranted, stigma that some patients face.

"We strongly welcome the new guidelines by NHS England, 'Mental Health in Older People', and we support Age UK's campaign to highlight the importance of mental health issues for older people."

Further Information

RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7410/7574/7575
Out of hours: 0203 188 7659


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.