Older Americans’ Mental Health Week 2008
Once again, NASW is proud to promote Older Americans’ Mental Health Week (May 25-31, 2008) in partnership with OWL—The Voice of Midlife and Older Women. Activities for this year’s observance include a May 15 Capitol Hill briefing, cosponsored by NASW. As part of a panel addressing mental health and aging issues, NASW staff will describe the limits of Medicare coverage for mental health treatment and the Association’s advocacy for mental health parity.
As part of last year’s observance, OWL conducted a poll to assess the knowledge and attitudes about mental health and aging among nursing assistants, physician assistants, and physical therapists. The poll showed nursing assistants held the most misperceptions about mental health and aging and, furthermore, that these staff did not feel confident in their ability to recognize or address signs of mental health problems in the older adults they served. Based on the results of this poll, OWL is developing and implementing training sessions regarding mental health and aging for nursing assistants in select parts of the country. OWL’s work highlights the importance of interdisciplinary teamwork and of social work’s role in behavioral health and aging practice.
Consider what activities you can undertake in your own setting to educate your colleagues about behavioral health concerns for older adults—and don’t forget to solicit your colleagues’ input regarding those concerns!
Learn more about Older Americans’ Mental Health Week.