Older Mind Matters


Older Mind Matters Ltd offers consultancy, research and training in the field of older people’s mental health. The Director, Dr Susan Mary Benbow, is a psychiatrist and systemic psychotherapist with extensive experience at local, regional and national levels.

Read the latest publication additions.

Current work streams at a glance:

  1. Systemic therapy. In the Manchester area, I practise systemic therapy at Hampden House, 2 Palatine Road, Withington, Manchester M20 3JA. Link here to the Hampden House website page on how to find Hampden House. My specialist areas are working with adults; working with couples; working with those living with chronic physical or mental illness; and issues of middle and later life. Link to my entry on the UKCP website here, and link here to an Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice leaflet which explains what family therapy is. Download here a leaflet about me and click here to see my entry on Counselling Directory. I am also piloting some systemic work with a voluntary organisation in Stoke-on-Trent.
  2. Clinical practice. In August 2012 I joined the primary care memory clinic team at Gnosall Health Centre. Read more about it here on the practice website. I also carry out Mental Health Act Second Opinions for the Isle of Man.
  3. Research. I have a broad range of research interests and am involved in a project on Late life acquired dual sensory impairment and the impact on everyday competence at the University of Chester, and a project on relationships and dementia at Staffordshire University. 
  4. Teaching. I teach on the MSc in Ageing, Mental Health and Dementia at Staffordshire University and deliver teaching and training on dementia to a number of groups including carers.
  5. Safeguarding. I have undertaken homicide reviews as independent chair/ author; have been involved in reviews of services; and have interviewed the relatives of people who have experienced unsatisfactory care on behalf of the organisations involved.
  6. Consultancy. I provide consultancy to provider organisations and to research projects.
  7. Completed projects. Click here to view completed projects Older Mind Matters Ltd has been involved in.

Career History

Dr Susan M Benbow

Susan M Benbow is a Psychiatrist and Systemic Therapist, Professor of Mental Health and Ageing at the Centre for Ageing Studies at the University of Chester and at Staffordshire University, and Director of Older Mind Matters Ltd.

I worked as consultant psychiatrist in Central Manchester from 1984 to 2001 and then consultant psychiatrist in Wolverhampton from 2001 to 2009. In 2009 I redesigned my working life and moved on to develop a portfolio career.

From 2003-2006 I was National Institute for Mental Health England Fellow in Ageing & Mental Health and led nationally on the development of a programme of work in the field of older people’s mental health. I was on the editorial group which developed Everybody’s Business, launched by the Department of Health in 2005, and contributed to a range of national initiatives. From 2002 -2006 I was Chair of the Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry, an elected position, which involved leading for old age psychiatrists nationally. I chaired the College working group which published Raising the Standard, a report about older people’s mental health services, and until early 2016 I chaired the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Special Committee on Professional Practice and Ethics. I have also served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the International Psychogeriatric Association. In 2015 I was elected to the Board of the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice.

i am committed to lifelong learning and in late 2015 I returned to student life as a student on the Birmingham Diploma in Systemic Supervision course. In addition I regularly review books and papers for a range of journals, am invited to present at regional, national and international meetings, am associate editor for International Psychogeriatrics, and am a partner/ clinical advisor to a number of grant funded research projects. My published output consists of over 90 peer-reviewed papers, and nearly 30 chapters. 

In 2010 I completed a PhD by publication entitled Service user and carer participation in Old Age Psychiatry.

Although my family home is in the North West of England, I have worked in the Staffordshire/ West Midlands area since 2001 and a canalboat is my ‘second home’.


Declaration of Interests: Susan M Benbow receives an income from Older Mind Matters Ltd, and practises independently as a systemic therapist. In the financial years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 neither she nor the company received any income from any pharmaceutical company, and neither she nor the company owns shares in the pharmaceutical industry. A requirement of becoming a member of the team at Hampden House Independent Psychotherapy Centre is to purchase shares in the business, so the company owns as small number of shares in HH as does Susan as an individual.