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New horizons: Forensic mental health services for older people

  • Muthusamy Natarajan and Sophie Mulvana

Summary

Although the older adult population makes up only a small percentage of mentally disordered offenders, there is a clear need for forensic mental health services for older people. However, these services to date have developed ad hoc and with no coordination. In this article we discuss the evolution, current provision, future direction and therapeutic implications of such services. Although the epidemiology, criminology and clinical characteristics of older people are sufficiently different from those of younger people to warrant such service specificity, we suggest that the provision of care should be geared to services based on older people's multiple and complex needs, rather than on arbitrary age cut-offs.

Learning Objectives

• Be able to use an understanding of epidemiology, criminology and clinical characteristics of older people in the provision of forensic mental healthcare

• Understand the forensic mental healthcare needs of older people

• Be able to develop forensic mental health services for older people

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence Dr Muthusamy Natarajan, St Andrew's, Cliftonville, Northampton NN1 5DG, UK. Email: mnatarajan@standrew.co.uk

Footnotes

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Declaration of Interest

M.N. is employed by St Andrew's, an independent sector provider of mental healthcare

Footnotes

References

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New horizons: Forensic mental health services for older people

  • Muthusamy Natarajan and Sophie Mulvana
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