Insights on Aging: Checking in on Mental Health
On May 13, 2022, CJE Counseling Services conducted a webinar entitled “Insights on Aging: Checking in on Mental Health. To view the Powerpoint Presentation as a downloadable PDF, please click here.
“The Growing Need to Address Older Adult Mental Health Issues”
With National Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM) approaching in May, the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging (NCMHA) has developed a set of materials (see below for attachments and links) that you can use to post on your websites or forward to your members and audiences emphasizing “The Growing Need to Address Older Adult Mental Health Issues” during the month of May.
In addition to the attachments and links, please go to our website at http://www.ncmha.org for additional information, and post content about the Coalition and older adult mental health issues on your sites and platforms.
We recognize that you will be posting content for MHAM in May that pertains to your specific organization’s needs and interests, but we hope you will consider carving out opportunities during May to highlight your participation in the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, and the needs of older adults with mental health conditions using any of the attached materials and our website content.
Please let us know what your plans are for posting any content or themes to observe Mental Health Awareness Month.
We hope you find the information provided below and attachments useful, and please let us know if you have any questions. And please let us know if you post and forward any of these materials during May – Mental Health Awareness Month.
NCMHA Statement to Ways and Means Committee (Lengthier Version Sent to Senate Finance Committee) on “Addressing America’s Mental Health Crisis to Improve Access to Behavioral Health Services for Older Adults”
See Exhibit 5 – Among older adults with mental health needs, U.S. Medicare beneficiaries were the most likely to report cost-related difficulties getting needed health care.
The Commonwealth Fund survey asked older adults about times when cost prevented them from accessing health care in the past year, including when they had a medical problem but did not visit a doctor; skipped a needed test, treatment, or follow-up; did not fill a prescription for medicine; or skipped medication doses.
Despite the financial protections Medicare offers, its coverage leaves many U.S. older adults exposed to high health care costs. This is particularly true for beneficiaries with serious mental health needs who are likely to spend more on health services. High out-of-pocket health costs can lead beneficiaries to postpone care or forgo it entirely, which can produce poorer health outcomes and raise overall health care spending.
U.S. Medicare beneficiaries have one of the highest rates of mental health needs overall. Even so, they are more likely to skip or delay needed care because of costs than older adults in any other of the high-income countries we studied. Within the Medicare population, beneficiaries with mental health needs are more likely to skip care compared to those without mental health needs.
Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Kaiser’s analysis finds rates of depression and anxiety are high among adults ages 65 and older relative to rates in 2018, with one in four reporting anxiety or depression during most weeks since the onset of the pandemic – an increase from one in ten older adults who reported anxiety or depression in 2018. Rates of anxiety or depression among older adults were higher among those who are female, Hispanic, low income, in relatively poor health, who live alone, or who have experienced recent loss of employment income in their household.
The purpose of this brief is to provide a broad-based overview of workforce issues to consider when addressing the needs of older adults living with SMI,
The needs and growth of the older population with SMI exceeds the number of behavioral health providers that are trained in geriatric care. Further, the workforce that works most frequently with geriatric populations (primary care physicians, assisted living and nursing home staff, emergency department staff, inpatient hospital staff, and family members) are not routinely trained in how to recognize or effectively address SMIs.
The guide presents psychosocial interventions for older adults experiencing serious mental illness, including: Assertive Community Treatment, Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training, Functional Adaptation Skills Training, Programa de Entrenamiento para el Desarrollo de Aptitudes para Latinos (Functional Adaptation Skills Training Program for Latinos), Integrated Illness Management and Recovery, and Helping Older People Experience Success. The guide provides considerations and strategies for interdisciplinary teams, peer specialists, clinicians, registered nurses, behavioral health organizations, and policy makers in understanding, selecting, and implementing evidence-based interventions that support adults with serious mental illness.
ICMHA Workshop Thank You and Follow-up
The Coalition thanks Nina Henry for her presentation at the May 11 Workshop entitled: Surviving War and Woodstock: Substance Use & Older Adults.
We request that workshop participants complete an evaluation of the presentation on Survey Monkey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SUOlderAdultsEval
I have submitted names of participants who requested CEUs to Elaine Jurkowski.
As a follow-up to the workshop I have attached a copy of Nina Henry’s PowerPoint presentation (in PDF form) and the following materials:
During the ICMHA workshop on May 11, presenter Nina Henry cited admissions criteria published by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. The ASAM Criteria are a comprehensive set of guidelines for placement, continued stay, and transfer/discharge of patients with addiction and co-occurring conditions.
To access the ASAM Criteria, please click here.
Older Adult Mental Health Awareness Day 2021 is May 6, 2021
To register for this event please see our calendar, or click here.
COVID-19 Survival Guide
January 6, 2021, the Chicago Tribune published a report by Darcell Rockett that Abigail Hardin, a Rush University Medical Group rehabilitation psychologist who counsels patients from intensive care to rehab, drew on her professional experiences to write “The COVID-19 Survival Guide: How to Prepare for, Manage, and Overcome a Coronavirus Infection.” The book offers readers advice on how to navigate the virus from diagnosis to recovery.
Compilation of Articles on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of Older Adults
COVID-19 Has Claimed the Lives of 100,000 Long-Term Care Residents and Staff
Authors: Priya Chidambaram, Rachel Garfield , and Tricia Neuman
Published: November 25, 2020
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, available at:
One in four older adults report anxiety or depression amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Authors: Wyatt Koma , Sarah True, Jeannie Fuglesten Biniek , Juliette Cubanski , Kendal Orgera , and Rachel Garfield
Published: October 9, 2020
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, available at:
Richard J. Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging, speaks with APA about COVID-19, health disparities, social isolation, dementia, and funding for research and training.
Date created: October 1, 2020
Source: American Psychological Association, available at:
Richard J. Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging, speaks with APA
The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use
Authors: Nirmita Panchal, Rabah Kamal, Kendal Orgera , Cynthia Cox , Rachel Garfield , Liz Hamel , Cailey Muñana, and Priya Chidambaram
Published: August 21, 2020
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, available at:
Psychological impact of COVID-19 on older adults
Author: Sonia Mukhtar
Published: July 22, 2020
Source: US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, available at:
December 8, 2020 – Holiday Drinking – Helping Older Adults be Happier and Safer
The E4 Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Disparities in Aging hosted a presentation, in conjunction with the Illinois Department on Aging, on Holiday Drinking: Helping Older Adults be Happier and Safer, featuring Frederic Blow, PhD.
The E4 Center has shared the attached presentation slides and here is a link to the recording.
The E4 Center has invited ICMHA members to join future sessions.
Please visit the E4 website (e4center.org) to learn more about upcoming opportunities, including the Learning Community on Thursday, January 14 at 12pm CT on Suicide in Later Life – Clinical and Public Health Perspectives presented by Yeates Conwell, MD. Please click here to register.
This information was provided by: Michelle Newman, MPH Program Manager, Department of Social Work and Community Health Rush University Medical Center | 710 S Paulina St., Suite 427; Chicago, IL 60612 P (312) 942-0417 | F (312) 942-6116 | Michelle_H_Newman@rush.edu
September 2020 – Reports & Resources
On September 24, 2020, the National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults (engAGED) convened a virtual Social Isolation Summit, following the Annual Conference of n4a (National Association of Area Agencies on Aging), a member organization of NCMHA.
I participated in this Summit and would like to share the following reports and resources with NCMHA members.
National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine (NACEM) released a consensus study examining how social isolation and loneliness affect health and quality of life in adults aged 50 and older, particularly among low-income, underserved, and vulnerable subpopulations (or those considered “at risk”).
For more information, go to:
Frontiers in Public Health published an article in July 2020, entitled, “Combating Social Isolation Among Older Adults in a Time of Physical Distancing: The COVID-19 Social Connectivity Paradox, ” by Matthew Lee Smith, Lesley E. Steinman, and E. A. Casey
To access this article, go to:
Mobilizing and Empowering the Nation and Technology to Address Loneliness & social isolation (MENTAL) Health Innovation Challenge
Note: the following is provided for information only; this Challenge is no longer accepting proposals. Finalists will be notified by October 6, 2020.
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) along with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, have offered up to $750,000 in prizes and an opportunity to reach up to 10 million Americans. The prize will be awarded to the winner at the CES in January 2021. ACL and OASH are joined by the Consumer Technology Association Foundation (CTA Foundation), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in promoting the competition and judging and/or evaluating the submissions.
For more information about this Challenge go to:
May 2020 – Mental Health Month Toolkit
Mental Health America has produced a toolkit to promote May 2020 as Mental Health Month.
The toolkit is available at: https://mhanational.org/mental-health-month-2020-toolkit-download
The following is an introductory message from Paul Gionfriddo, President and CEO of Mental Health America:
May is Mental Health Month, and it has never been more important than this year.
Until now, there were still some people who believed that mental health wasn’t everyone’s concern. They thought that our annual mental health resources – even though they were shared with millions – were aimed at just a small group of people – the one in five who have a mental health concern in any given year.
That isn’t the case today. Just weeks ago, we had no idea that all our worlds were going to be turned upside down by the coronavirus. Or that the associated worry, isolation, loneliness, and anxiety would be something that literally everyone – all five in five – would experience.
We always intended to focus MHA’s Mental Health Month toolkit this year on resiliency, offering tools to thrive at any time. We now believe that these tools – even those that we all may have to adapt for the short term because of social distancing – will be more useful than ever. But we’re also offering something more.
There is bonus material in the toolkit specifically focused on the coronavirus, and how we can all work together to support our mental health in the face of uncertainty.
In addition, we will be adding additional resources as the weeks go by, leading up to Mental Health Month.
Meanwhile, let’s keep two things front and center:
First, mental health screening is essential during times of stress. We have set an ambitious goal of a million mental health screens in May. Take a screen. And tell your friends to take a screen, too. It is more important than ever to take care of our mental health.
Second, it is important to look forward and to focus on what we need to do to thrive in uncertain times. And the tools in this year’s toolkit will also help us do just that.
May you stay safe and well!
New Resource – April 21, 2020
April 16, 2020
Best Practices for Telehealth
The National Council for Behavioral Health has released a document entitled, “Best Practices for Telehealth During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency” – Updated March 23, 2020
This document is attached and can be accessed at the following link:
For technical assistance, contact the Upper Midwest Telehealth Resource Center (UMTRC), headed by the Indiana Rural Health Association. which provides clinical and technical assistance services within Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.
You can call UMTRC at (855) 283-3734 or visit their website at:
WIU Creates COVID-19 Map to Monitor Cases in Illinois
According to a 3-21-20 news release from Western Illinois University, the WIU EAGIS Department and GIS Center have created a stateside COVID-19 web map to monitor reported cases in Illinois.
The map highlights counties where cases have been reported and symbolizes the number of cases. By using a web environment, the map can be rapidly distributed and users can pan and zoom around the map to focus on particular areas of the map.
Data at the county level are reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health and respective agencies in states bordering Illinois.
The news release contains a hotlink to the map.
New Resource – March 17, 2020
Our thanks to Sharon Dornberg-Lee at CJE Senior Life for sharing the following resource with our members:
“Mental Health Considerations during the COVID-19 Outbreak.” published by the World Health Organization, on March 6, 2020.
Resources for Social Activities at Home – March 17, 2020
ICMHA thanks Sharon Dornberg-Lee, Clinical Supervisor with CJE Senior Life for sharing the following message and resources:
“It’s important to continue to enjoy daily life as much as possible when spending more time at home. Here is a list of free activities that can be enjoyed from home during the Coronavirus outbreak. Most require a computer or smartphone, but one can be enjoyed via any type of telephone, as indicated.”
SOCIAL ISOLATION AMONG OLDER ADULTS
Loneliness Self-Assessment Checklist – Illinois Department on Aging
Illinois Aging Network Addresses Social Isolation among Older Adults – by Mike O’Donnell
NATIONAL OLDER ADULT MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS DAY 2019
- Advocacy (Maryland Coalition for Mental Health and Aging)
- Position Statement 35: Aging Well: Policy (Mental Health America)
- Family Caregivers Briefcase (American Psychological Association)
- Family Caregiving and Public Policy: Principles for Change (National Alliance for Caregiving)
- NASW Standards for Social Work Practice with Family Caregivers of Older Adults (National Association of Social Workers)
- VA Caregiver Support (U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs)
CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH PRACTICE
- What Mental Health Providers Should Know About Working with Older Adults (American Psychological Association)
- Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action (Institute of Medicine)
- Healthy Brain Initiative (CDC)
- Multicultural Counseling Competencies and Standards (American Counseling Association)
- Multicultural Competency in Geropsychology (American Psychological Association)
- National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Older Persons Division (NASMHPD OPD) Language Guidelines
- Standards and Indicators for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice (National Association of Social Workers)
- 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures (Alzheimer’s Association)
- 2015 Recommendations of the Public Members of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care, and Services (DHHS)
- Principles of Care for Patients With Dementia Resulting From Alzheimer Disease (American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry)
- Elder Abuse and Neglect: In Search of Solutions (American Psychological Association)
- Frequently Asked Questions about Elder Abuse (National Council on Aging)
- Health and Psychosocial Needs of LGBT Older Adults (AIDS Community Research Initiative of America; ACRIA)
- Medicare and Your Mental Health Benefits (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services)
MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
- Behavioral Health (National Council on Aging)
- “Bring Change 2 Mind” (the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation, Fountain House, and International Mental Health Research Organization)
- Community Integration for Older Adults with Mental Illnesses: Overcoming Barriers and Seizing Opportunities (SAMHSA)
- Depression in Older Adults Fact Sheet (Mental Health America)
- Good Mental Health is Ageless (SAMHSA)
- Meeting the Mental Health Challenges of the Elder-Boom (Geriatric Mental Health Alliance on of New York)
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES FOR PROFESSIONALS & AFRICAN AMERICAN OLDER ADULTS
- BEAM (Black Emotional And Mental Health)- a training, movement-building, and grant-making organization dedicated to the healing, wellness and liberation of Black and marginalized communities.
- BEAM offers tool-kits, consumer education, professional training, and access to a Black Virtual Therapist Network. For more information visit their website.
- Fact Sheet on African American Older Adults and Race-Related Stress published by the American Psychological Association; Download here.
- Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation maintains a Directory of Mental Health Providers and Programs serving the African American Community. To access this Directory, visit this link.
- Caregiver Intervention Database (Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving)
- Healthy IDEAS and PEARLS: evidence-based community programs for depression identification and management
- Get Connected! Toolkit: Linking Older Adults with Medication, Alcohol and Mental Health Resources (SAMHSA, AoA and National Council on Aging)
- Older Americans Behavioral Health Issue Brief Series (SAMHSA, AoA/ACL, NCoA)
- Promoting Older Adult Health: Aging Network Partnerships to Address Medication, Alcohol and Mental Health Problems (SAMHSA, AoA and NCOA)
- Depression and Suicide in Older Adults Resource Guide (American Psychological Association)
- Disaster Preparedness Guide for Older Americans (Department of Elder Affairs State of Florida)
- Psychosocial Issues for Older Adults in Disasters (SAMHSA/CMHS) Publication
- PTSD and Older Veterans (VA National Center for PTSD)
TRAUMATIC BRAIN DISORDERS
- The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands (Institute of Medicine)
- Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-being (Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics)
- Quality of Life (OWL)
- Benefits Check Up (National Council on Aging)
- Older Adult Technical Assistance Center (Administration for Community Living)