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We work to promote policy dialogue on various facets of demographic change across the UNECE region, with a particular focus on ageing.

In focus

Mental Health of Older Persons
UNECE Policy Brief on Ageing No. 29
June 2024

A significant portion of older individuals experience mental disorders. Yet, these often go unnoticed and untreated, being overlooked as normal ageing or overshadowed by other health issues. This is especially true for older women, those with lower socio-economic status, and long-term care facility residents. To effectively promote and protect the mental health of older adults, addressing the treatment gap and the negative impacts on individuals and their families is crucial. This policy brief outlines the determinants and prevalence of mental health issues among older adults in the UNECE region and features concrete policy strategies and examples aimed at improving mental health of older persons from across the UNECE region. The policy examples featured in the brief include measures to eliminate stigma, improve mental health literacy and combat ageism. They also include measures aimed at prevention and early detection, tackling psychosocial challenges and supporting older persons during challenging life events. Furthermore, the brief includes policy examples for integrating mental health services into care, improving access to treatment, protecting mental health in emergencies, and enhancing research and data collection.

Full Policy Brief can be downloaded from here, and its Key Messages – from here.


  • UNECE's latest Policy Brief on Ageing focuses on the Mental Health of Older Persons. Read the Policy Brief and its key messages here.

  • UNECE issued three new training tools for mainstreaming see our thematic page to access our new online course and learn about guidelines, tools, country experiences and road maps.