Abstract

The report exposes many challenges people with Parkinson's face in receiving high quality, timely treatment that meets their needs.

The report makes several recommendations to Government and other relevant authorities that could improve mental health services and make it easier for people with Parkinson's to access them

 

While the physical symptoms of Parkinson’s such as tremor, slowness of movement and rigidity are familiar, less attention has been paid to associated mental health and cognitive symptoms such as psychosis, impulsive and compulsive behaviours, hallucinations, mild cognitive impairment, dementia, anxiety and depression. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Parkinson’s has chosen to focus this inquiry on access to psychological support for people with Parkinson’s who experience anxiety and depression, due to the commonality of the symptoms and the impact on quality of life. People with Parkinson’s often report anxiety or depression as the most distressing aspect of their condition. At any given time, up to 40% of people with Parkinson’s will have significant symptoms of depression1 and up to 40% of people with Parkinson’s will experience significant symptoms of anxiety2. Therefore the mental health needs of people with Parkinson’s cannot continue to go unheard. This inquiry heard from people with Parkinson’s and health professionals who are united in their dissatisfaction with the current state of mental health services for people with the condition.