APA contributes to Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on mental health care needs for growing geriatric population

The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands? examines current and future mental and behavioral health care needs of America’s aging population and issues a call to action for the education and training of a competent workforce to address these needs.

The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands? “This IOM report provides a foundation for our nation to build a mental health workforce to meet the needs of our rapidly growing and increasingly diverse aging population,” said APA CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD. “The report reflects successful advocacy by APA and the mental and behavioral health community and includes key policy recommendations, which APA looks forward to promoting in partnership with federal, professional and community leaders.”

Three APA member psychologists served on the study committee: Margarita Alegría, PhD, Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research and Harvard Medical School; Frederic C. Blow, PhD, University of Michigan Medical School and the Department of Veterans Affairs; and Michael Alan Hoge, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine.

In addition to working with Congress to securing the funding for the study, APA supported the study committee’s work by providing workforce data and information on psychology’s role in addressing the mental and behavioral health needs of older adults (PDF, 93KB) and the evolution of professional geropsychology. “The IOM report was clearly informed by resources shared by APA, and we are pleased to see psychologists appropriately recognized as key providers of evidence-based services for older adults and their families,” said Deborah DiGilio, director of APA’s Office on Aging.

APA, in partnership with the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry and the National Association of Social Workers, will host a briefing Sep. 19 on Capitol Hill to highlight key findings and recommendations related to the mental and behavioral health care needs of older Americans.

Members can read the report brief and full report, and look for continuing coverage in the Monitor on Psychology, as well as on APA’s Office on Aging and Public Interest Government Relations Office webpages.

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