Depression Facts


Last night, as a Sessional Trainer for Aware Defeat Depression, I delivered a Depression Awareness Training session to Evergreen Pensioners’ Club. Preparing for the evening over the last few days, I was stunned (and “depressed”) at the statistics for this age-group, which differ significantly to that of the normal groups we deliver to, teenagers:

  • 10-15% of people over 65 suffer from depression
  • 2 out of 5 people over the age of 85 suffer from depression
  • 40% of people in care homes suffer from depression

And, even more stunned by one of the most common myths surrounding depression:

  • That it’s just something you have to put up with as you get older.

In contrast, Sessional Trainers at Aware have been trained to deliver the facts and the good news:

Depression is Common

Depression is Devastating

Depression is Treatable

“Aware Defeat Depression has been working since 1996 to support all those in Northern Ireland affected by depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression). We also welcome and support carers.”

helpline 08451 29 20 61 or

My audience of last evening was one of the most appreciative I have ever had the privilege to deliver to. The group was full of life experience, good and bad. They were incredibly clued in about the connections between mental health and physical health. I was impressed with their knowledge of human biology and the connection between physical exercise, eating healthily and mood. (See Matthew Arrell’s take on the nutrition side of this.) All showed an appreciation of the importance of maintaining an active social life during retirement. In fact, some of those in attendance could very well have delivered a competent seminar without me. The sheer honesty of their willingness to share the experiences of their lives, their own advice and recommendations to the group, was truly awesome to behold. And, there was a complete lack of any patronising attitude toward those of advanced years that we sometimes fall into in NI.

I’m inspired now, to start preparing next week for my next QUB Open Learning event, Retirement: One Big Loose End. To read more, or book your place, click the link.

Also, I’d love to hear from you, about your strategies for dealing with the changes retirement brings. How to you plan your week? What activities do you take part in, to keep both mind and body active and healthy? Are you engaged in working with a community or youth group? Feel free to comment on this blog, or contact me by email or phone.