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HealthInfo Canterbury

Living with depression for older adults

Read this page for recommended advice and support information for people diagnosed with depression.

On this page

What can I do if I have depression?

How do I support a friend or family member who has depression?

Who can help?

What can I do if I have depression?

There are many things you can do to help manage your depression and return to health. Being older is no barrier to getting help and getting better.

For some people this list may seem overwhelming. Remember that some people use one or two individual treatments and some people use more. Your general practice team and friends and family are there to help you decide what might work best for you.

How do I support a friend or family member who has depression?

If you are involved in caring for someone who has depression, you might like to join Caring for Carers Incorporated, which is a community-funded group for family members looking after a family member with a physical or mental illness or a disability.

Your support can make a big difference to someone close to you. It can be hard to know what to do or say but there are some resources to help you. It is important to look after yourself also.

When someone is depressed they might find being a parent particularly challenging. The whole family could benefit by using some of the resources and contacting the support groups listed on Children of parents with a mental illness or addiction.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Who can help?

The following people and organisations may be involved in your (or a family member or friend's) healthcare.

General practice team

If you need to find a GP, you can search on this map.

Community support groups

Counsellor or therapist

Mental Health Education and Resource Centre (MHERC)

The Canterbury Mental Health Education and Resource Centre Trust (MHERC) provides information, education, and support within the Canterbury region to people with mental health and addiction issues, families and whānau, caregivers, and associates, agencies, and the community.

Canterbury DHB Specialist Mental Health Services

The Specialist Mental Health Service, a division of the Canterbury District Health Board is the major provider of mental health services in the Canterbury region. Read more...

Canterbury DHB Older Persons Mental Health

The Older Persons Mental Health Service is based at Burwood Hospital and is part of Older Persons Health and Rehabilitation (OPH&R). It provides community, inpatient, day hospital, and outpatient services providing diagnosis, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation for people over the age of 65 years with primary psychiatric or organic disorder and any concurrent physical disorders. Your general practice team can refer you to this service.

Needs Assessment Service

You or your doctor, community health worker, family member or a friend can refer you to the Needs Assessment Service to find out whether you need support to stay in your home and the types of support you may need.

On the next page: More information about depression in older adults

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Updated June 2016.

See also:

Medications for mental health issues

Preparing for your doctor's visit

Reading in Mind book scheme

Page reference: 54682

Review key: HIDPO-57702