Our work with older adults

Depression is common throughout the Australian population, and older people are more likely to experience contributing factors such as physical illness or personal loss.

It is thought that between 10 and 15 per cent of older people experience depression and about 10 per cent experience anxiety.1 

Rates of depression among people living in residential aged-care are believed to be much higher, at around 35 per cent.2  The rate of anxiety in these groups is unconfirmed, but believed to be higher than depression.

Further, men over the age of 85 have the highest suicide rate in the population.


Professional Education to Aged Care (PEAC) online program

The statistics for depression in aged care residents, coupled with the limited training options for aged care staff (National Ageing Research Institute, Scoping study of health professional education and training in older age depression and anxiety, 2010), led Beyond Blue to develop face-to-face training for staff in managing anxiety and depression in aged care residents. In 2016, this training was converted into an online learning program. Over 12,500 people registered for the program, which closed in June 2021. 

For information and resources relating to the mental health of older adults see our Older adults section.

For information and tools to support mentally healthy workplaces, visit Work and mental health

For information on alternative programs, please contact us. 

Our research relating to older adults

Research projects

Beyond Blue funds a variety of research which contributes to the understanding and knowledge of depression and anxiety in older adults, and regularly evaluates its projects targeting older adults.

View Beyond Blue-funded older adults related research projects


Beyond Blue has developed resources for older people, partners, family and friends, and for health professionals who work in mental health relating to older adults on depression, anxiety and suicide prevention.

What works to promote emotional wellbeing in older people 

The What works to promote emotional wellbeing in older people – a guide for aged care staff working in community or residential care settings booklet covers a range of interventions that can be used to promote emotional wellbeing or to help people with anxiety or depression. It summarises the strength of evidence for each intervention and gives case studies to show how the interventions have been used with older people. 

More information on older adults

Beyond Blue works to equip older adults with the knowledge and skills to maintain their own good mental health and wellbeing, and recognise symptoms in people close to them, in order to prevent the development of a mental health condition.

Read more information, advice and personal stories of older adults' experiences with anxiety, depression and suicide.

Find out more