Mental health matters too

We believe mental health should be treated as seriously as the physical symptoms of Parkinson's, and we need your help to make this happen.

Why mental health matters

Mental health problems are common in people with Parkinson’s and can have a huge impact on people’s day to day lives. At the moment, many people with Parkinson’s struggle to access mental health support when they need it. 

When facing a diagnosis of Parkinson's, it's understandable to feel depressed or anxious. But depression and anxiety can be real clinical symptoms of Parkinson's just as tremors or slowness of movement are.

We're calling on the Government to make sure that people with Parkinson's can access the right support, at the right time. It's so important that people receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for any mental health problems.

What mental health problems can people with Parkinson's experience?

People with Parkinson's can experience depression and anxiety due to their symptoms.

There are different reasons for this, including changes to the chemicals in the brain that are part of Parkinson's or coming to terms with a diagnosis and living with the condition. 

It's important that people with Parkinson's receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for any mental health problems. But too often this isn't happening.

What is Parkinson's UK doing to improve access to mental health support for people with the condition?

Earlier this year we launched a survey across the UK to find out how mental health problems impact on the day to day lives of people with Parkinson's, as well as people's experiences of accessing mental health support.

The results revealed that three quarters of the people with Parkinson's that we surveyed felt that their mental health problems had an impact on their quality of life. 

  • Over 70% said they were less able to socialise.
  • Over 50% felt their relationships with friends and family had changed for the worse.
  • Nearly 50% found it harder to leave the house.

On top of this, around 65% of the people we surveyed were not confident that their mental health problems were being addressed by the NHS.

We'll be using these findings to call on decision makers to urgently improve the system.

We're currently supporting a groundbreaking inquiry into anxiety and depression in Parkinson's, launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group's (APPG) on Parkinson's.

Thanks to everyone who shared their insights and expertise over summer 2017. Your views will help shape the inquiry’s final report and recommendations to the government on improving mental health support for people with Parkinson’s. We will keep you informed of further opportunities to get involved as the inquiry progresses.

What can I do to support Parkinson's UK's work?

You can help us improve the system by sharing your experience, good or bad, of mental health support. We need examples of where things have worked well, and where the current system needs to improve for people with Parkinson’s.

Your personal stories will have a real impact, helping influence decision makers.

Share your story

Tell us about your experiences - good and bad - of mental health care, which we'll use to influence decision makers.

Share your story
Bisi, who cares for her mum with Parkinson's, and her Parkinson's local adviser
Parkinson's UK Protest at Houses of Parliament on budget day to save ESA

Join our Campaigns Network

You can make a difference to the lives of people with Parkinson's - join our Campaigns Network today.

Join the Network