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. Although Susan leads on much of the Company's work, In some circumstances she is supported by a similarly qualified associate and the Company reserves the right to offer to substitute a similarly qualified person if circumstances mean that the nominated lead is unable to undertake contracted work.

Read the latest publication additions.

Current work streams at a glance:

  1. Systemic therapy: practised in the Manchester area at Hampden House, 2 Palatine Road, Withington, Manchester M20 3JA. Link here to the Hampden House website page on how to find Hampden House. Susan's 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 her 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 Susan and click here to see her entry on Counselling Directory. 
  2. Clinical practice: primary care memory clinic services provided at Gnosall Health Centre since August 2012. Read more about the clinic here on the practice website. Mental Health Act Second Opinions carried out for the Isle of Man.
  3. Research: the Company has a broad range of research interests and is currently involved in a project on relationships and dementia at Staffordshire University; and a project on transgender people's experiences of health and social care commissioned by Age UK Cheshire. 
  4. Teaching: teaching and training delivered to a number of groups including carers. This includes teaching on dementia and a range of other topics.
  5. Safeguarding. Older Mind Matters Ltd has undertaken domestic homicide reviews and safeguarding adults reviews, filling the roles of independent chair/ author; has been involved in reviews of services; and has interviewed the relatives of people who have experienced unsatisfactory care on behalf of the organisations involved.
  6. Consultancy. The Company provides 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

The Director, 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 Director of Older Mind Matters Ltd.

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

From 2003-2006 she 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. She 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 she was Chair of the Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry, an elected position, which involved leading for old age psychiatrists nationally. She chaired the College working group which published Raising the Standard, a report about older people’s mental health services, and until early 2016 chaired the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Special Committee on Professional Practice and Ethics. She also served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the International Psychogeriatric Association. In 2015 she was elected to the Board of the Association for Family Therapy and Systemic Practice and is currently Treasurer.

Susan is committed to lifelong learning and in late 2015 returned to student life as a student on the Birmingham Diploma in Systemic Supervision course. In addition she regularly reviews papers for a range of journals, is invited to present at regional, national and international meetings, and is partner/ clinical advisor to a number of grant funded research projects. Her published output consists of over 90 peer-reviewed papers, and over 30 chapters. 

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

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


Declaration of Interests: Susan M Benbow, Director, receives an income from Older Mind Matters Ltd, and practises independently as a systemic therapist. In the last three financial years, apart from small honoraria and travel expenses for talks, neither she nor the company received 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.