Assessing the Mental Health Needs of Older People
- LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 May 2011
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0064
- LAST REVIEWED: 06 May 2015
- LAST MODIFIED: 25 May 2011
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0064
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.
The tendency for research, policy, and practice has been to compartmentalize work on mental health and on older people or to focus only on specific illnesses such as dementia or depression, rather than adopting a more holistic approach that encompasses well-being. However, in recent years the importance of promoting well-being has gained increasing recognition in the international and national discourse about mental health (World Health Organization 2007) and Klausner and Alexopoulos 1999 predicted that psychosocial interventions would acquire a progressively more important role alongside traditional medical interventions. Cattan and Tilford 2006 and Cattan 2009 examine the meaning of mental health, mental illness, and mental health promotion and the challenges in using chronological age in debates about mental health. McInnis-Dittrich 2005 provides an invaluable introduction to the biopsychosocial changes related to ageing, the role of social work with older people, assessment, and problem solving interventions. Berkman and D’Ambruoso 2006 highlights that social work, health care and ageing are often treated as separate entities, but in fact social workers deal with the latter two areas as part of their day-to-day practice.
Berkman, Barbara, and Sarah D’Ambruoso, eds. 2006. Handbook of social work in health and aging. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.
Drawing on international examples, this invaluable reference is the first to integrate the fields of health care and aging. It includes separate chapters on assessment, the mental health of older people, and social work practice in different settings. The comprehensive nature of this book makes it a highly recommended text.
Cattan, Mima, ed. 2009. Mental health and well-being in later life. Maidenhead, UK: Open Univ. Press.
This key text takes a holistic approach to the mental health and well-being issues that affect older people.
Cattan, Mima, and Sylvia Tilford, eds. 2006. Mental health promotion: A lifespan approach. Berkshire, UK: Open Univ. Press.
This highly recommended textbook provides a clear and coherent overview of mental health promotion for all age groups, with a separate chapter dedicated to older people.
Finch, Jenny. 2004. Evaluating Mental Health Services for Older People. Oxford: Radcliffe Publishing.
Drawing on international examples from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe, this book comprehensively charts the developments in older people’s mental health services and highlights various models of evaluation.
Herrman, Helen, Shekhar Saxena, and Rob Moodie. 2005. Promoting Mental Health: Concepts, Emerging Evidence, Practice. Geneva: World Health Organization.
This report explores the promotion of mental health and the available evidence on the effectiveness of interventions, while drawing implications for public health policy and practice.
Klausner, Ellen J., and George S. Alexopoulos. 1999. “The Future of Psychosocial Treatments for Elderly Patients.” Psychiatric Services. 50.9: 1198-1204.
This paper reviews the evidence on the use of psychosocial interventions with older patients and proposes that these types of support will become an increasingly significant part of the practice of treating older people with psychiatric conditions.
McInnis-Dittrich, Kathleen. 2005. Social Work with Elders: A Biopsychosocial Approach to Assessment and Intervention. Boston: Pearson.
This invaluable book includes material on biological changes and physical well-being; the impact of psychosocial approaches; assessment; and solution-focused interventions.
World Health Organization. 2007. Improving the mental health of the population: Can the European Union help?. 14th Report of Session 2006–2007. London: Stationery Office.
The 2005 WHO conference on mental health problems across Europe produced a declaration acknowledging the fundamental role of mental health and mental well-being to individuals, families, communities, and nations. This led to the publication of the European Commission Green Paper “Improving the mental health of the population: Towards a strategy on mental health for the European Union” in October 2005. This report synthesizes the evidence relating to the Green Paper.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
How to Subscribe
Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.
Purchase an Ebook Version of This Article
Ebooks of the Oxford Bibliographies Online subject articles are available in North America via a number of retailers including Amazon, vitalsource, and more. Simply search on their sites for Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guides and your desired subject article.
If you would like to purchase an eBook article and live outside North America please email firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest.
- Adolescent Depression
- Adolescent Pregnancy
- Adoption Home Study Assessments
- Adult Protective Services in the United States
- African Americans
- Aging, Physical Health and
- Alcohol and Drug Abuse Problems
- Alcohol and Drug Problems, Prevention of Adolescent and Yo...
- Alcohol Problems: Practice Interventions
- Alcohol Use Disorder
- Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
- Anti-Oppressive Practice
- Asian Americans
- Asian-American Youth
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Baccalaureate Social Workers
- Behavioral Health
- Behavioral Social Work Practice
- Bereavement Practice
- Brief Therapies in Social Work: Task-Centered Model and So...
- Bullying and Social Work Intervention
- Canadian Social Welfare, History of
- Case Management in Mental Health in the United States
- Child Poverty
- Child Welfare
- Child Welfare and Child Protection in Europe, History of
- Children of Incarcerated Parents
- Chronic Illness
- Clinical Social Work Practice with Adult Lesbians
- Cognitive Behavior Therapies with Diverse and Stressed Pop...
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Community Development
- Community Policing
- Community-Based Participatory Research
- Community-Needs Assessment
- Comparative Social Work
- Conflict Resolution
- Council on Social Work Education
- Counseling Female Offenders
- Criminal Justice
- Crisis Interventions
- Cultural Competence and Ethnic Sensitive Practice
- Culture, Ethnicity, Substance Use, and Substance Use Disor...
- Dementia Care, Ethical Aspects of
- Depression and Cancer
- Development and Infancy (Birth to Age Three)
- Direct Practice in Social Work
- Domestic Violence Among Immigrants
- Eating Disorders
- Ecological Framework
- Economic Evaluation
- Elder Mistreatment
- End-of-Life Decisions
- Epigenetics for Social Workers
- Ethics and Values in Social Work
- Evidence-based Social Work Practice
- Evidence-based Social Work Practice: Finding Evidence
- Evidence-based Social Work Practice: Issues, Controversies...
- Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs
- Families with Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Parents
- Family Caregiving
- Family Group Conferencing
- Family Policy
- Family Services
- Family Therapy
- Family Violence
- Fathering Among Families Served By Child Welfare
- Field Education
- Financing Health-Care Delivery in the United States
- Forensic Social Work
- Foster Care
- Gay Men
- Generalist Practice and Advanced Generalist Practice
- Group Work
- Group Work across Populations, Challenges, and Settings
- Group Work, Research, Best Practices, and Evidence-based
- Harm Reduction
- Health Care Reform
- Health Disparities
- Health Social Work
- History of Social Work and Social Welfare, 1950-1980
- History of Social Work from 1980-2014
- History of Social Work in China
- History of Social Work in Northern Ireland
- History of Social Work in the Republic of Ireland
- History of Social Work in the United Kingdom
- HIV/AIDS Prevention with Adolescents
- Homelessness Outside the United States
- Human Needs
- Human Trafficking, Victims of
- Immigrant Policy in the United States
- Immigrants and Refugees
- Immigrants and Refugees: Evidence-based Social Work Practi...
- Impaired Professionals
- Implementation Science and Practice
- Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Supported Employmen...
- International Social Welfare
- International Social Work
- International Social Work and Education
- International Social Work and Social Welfare in Southern A...
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy
- Intervention with Traumatized Populations
- Intimate Partner Violence
- Juvenile Justice
- Korean Americans
- Latinos and Latinas
- Law, Social Work and the
- Life Span
- Major Depressive Disorder
- Management and Administration in Social Work
- Maternal Mental Health
- Measurement, Scales, and Indices
- Medical Illness
- Men: Health and Mental Health Care
- Mental Health
- Mental Health Diagnosis and the Addictive Substance Disord...
- Mental Health Needs of Older People, Assessing the
- Mental Illness: Children
- Mental Illness: Elders
- Middle East and North Africa, International Social Work an...
- Military Social Work
- Mixed Methods Research
- Motivational Interviewing
- Native Americans
- Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders
- Neighborhood Social Cohesion
- Neuroscience and Social Work
- Nicotine Dependence
- Occupational Social Work
- Organizational Development and Change
- Pain Management
- Palliative Care
- Parent Training
- Philosophy of Science and Social Work
- Physical Disabilities
- Police Social Work
- Positive Youth Development
- Postmodernism and Social Work
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Practice Interventions and Aging
- Practice Interventions with Adolescents
- Practice Research
- Productive Engagement of Older Adults
- Profession, Social Work
- Psychiatric Rehabilitation
- Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic Theory
- Psychopathology and Social Work Practice
- Psychopharmacology and Social Work Practice
- Psychosocial Framework
- Psychosocial Intervention with Women
- Qualitative Research
- Race and Racism
- Religiously Affiliated Agencies
- Reproductive Health
- Research Ethics
- Restorative Justice
- Risk Assessment in Child Protection Services
- Risk Management in Social Work
- Rural Social Work Practice
- School Social Work
- School Violence
- School-Based Delinquency Prevention
- Services and Programs for Pregnant and Parenting Youth
- Severe and Persistent Mental Illness: Adults
- Sexual Assault
- Single-System Research Designs
- Social Development
- Social Insurance and Social Justice
- Social Justice and Social Work
- Social Movements
- Social Planning
- Social Policy
- Social Security in the United States (OASDHI)
- Social Work Education and Research
- Social Work Regulation
- Social Work Research Methods
- Solution-Focused Therapy
- Strategic Planning
- Strengths Perspective
- Strengths-Based Models in Social Work
- Supplemental Security Income
- Survey Research
- Systematic Review Methods
- Task-Centered Practice
- Technology, Human Relationships, and Human Interaction
- Technology in Social Work
- Terminal Illness
- Transdisciplinary Science
- Translational Science and Social Work
- United States, History of Social Welfare in the
- Veteran Services
- Victim Services
- Welfare State Reform in France
- Welfare State Theory
- Women and Macro Social Work Practice
- Women's Health Care
- Work and Family in the German Welfare State
- Working with Non-Voluntary and Mandated Clients
- Young and Adolescent Lesbians
- Youth at Risk
- Youth Services