He Ara Āwhina (Pathways to Support) Framework

Older adults face a series of challenges that can affect their mental health.

Some common issues are loneliness, social isolation, grief, depression, stress, loss, physical health, addiction, elder abuse, carer fatigue, financial difficulty, digital exclusion, housing, employment and discrimination. These issues are often perceived to be a typical part of growing older and are not commonly understood as requiring mental health service support and provision. However, mental illnesses, such as depression, are prevalent among older people and often go undiagnosed and untreated. Men aged 85 and over are one of the cohorts in New Zealand with the highest suicide rates. This reflects the need for improved mental health and addiction support for older adults in Aotearoa.