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For many people, life really does begin at 60. You’ve got more time for the things you’ve always wanted to do – visit new places, take up hobbies, or see more of friends and family. However, some things can seem a bit harder. We start losing people close to us. Friends and family often far away. Our bodies can slow down a bit, and we might have more health issues to worry about. These changes can increase the risk of anxiety, depression and suicide in older people.

When it comes to anxiety and depression, it can be hard to spot changes in our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. Knowing what to look for and being able to recognise the signs and symptoms means you can take action sooner rather than later. Anxiety and depression are not a weakness of character – they are a health issue just like any other. The good news is that effective treatments are available, and with the right support, you can recover.

Be social, be active, be well
An active life and relationships with people we care about are important at any age, as they promote good mental health. Maintaining connections with friends, family and the community can prevent feelings of loneliness and help us to stay mentally and physically healthy.

Having the conversation
Some people find it hard to share what they’re going through with family and friends, for fear of being a burden. You might think mental health is a private subject or that you should ‘put on a brave face’, but the reality is that people can’t help if they dont know what’s going on.

Visit the GP
As well as providing a diagnosis and discussing treatment options, your GP can refer you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychologist or psyhiatrist. Make sure you book a longer appointment so you have time to discuss the situation without feeling rushed. It’s best to see regular GP, so that they have a full picture of your overall health and any other medical conditions.

For more information and support visit Beyondblue: www.beyondblue.org.au or phone 1300 22 46 36. Their vision is for all people in Australia to achieve their best possible mental health.

(The above article has been sourced from Beyondblue.)