Television and mental health

The Importance of Television for our Mental Health

“The UK has an ageing population. By 2030, one in five people in the UK (21.8%) will be aged 65 or over, 6.8% will be aged 75+ and 3.2% will be aged 85+. As many as 49% of older people (equivalent to over 5 million individuals) say their television or pets are their main form of company. Televison’s importance really can’t be exaggerated, especially for these people who, as they age, are increasingly likely to suffer loneliness, bereavement, illness and disability. TV doesn’t cure these struggles, but it can make them easier to live with.”

With the debate over the free TV licence for over-75s continuing to rage, we hear from Jolie Goodman about the importance of television for our mental health – especially as we age.

Keeping the free TV licence.

#SwitchedOff: why we’re campaigning to save free TV for older people

“It’s a common misconception that all older people are comfortably off these days. In fact nearly a fifth of over 75s are living in poverty. For them, paying a hefty extra bill would simply be impossible when they’re barely scraping by as it is. Added to this, half of over 75s are living with a disability. Many of them rely on their TV for companionship and entertainment. And for those who don’t have the internet – a considerable proportion of the oldest in our society – TV enables them stay up to date with what’s happening in the world.”

For over a million of the oldest people in our country, television is their main form of compa-ny. Right now, that’s under threat. Together, we must take a stand. The BBC is considering removing the right to free TV
licences for the over 75s. If this is al-lowed to happen, it’s the most vulnerable people in our society who’ll suffer.