One in four American adults have a diagnosable mental illness, but less than one-quarter of older adults with mental illness get any type of mental health attention, let alone appropriate treatment. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) joins the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in identifying older adults as a unique population that underutilizes behavioral health services due to stigma and the lack of mental health insurance parity. Through efforts to address the needs of older Oklahomans ODMHSAS coordinates the following:
PreAdmission Screening & Resident Review (PASRR)
Federal law requires that all persons with a serious mental illness and or mental retardation must be screened and assessed for appropriate placement before being admitted to a nursing facility. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) is responsible for the mental illness side of PASRR in Oklahoma. The PASRR evaluation system is designed to determine if a person actually has a nursing home level of care need before they are admitted.
Oklahomans Learning to Direct Recovery (OLDR)
Older adults may develop depression or anxiety disorders as a result of life changes and challenges that are typical in the aging process. While these illnesses are highly responsive to treatment, older people underutilize the behavioral health resources that already exist. Older adults may also develop problems with alcohol and/or prescription drugs which will interfere with their successful aging and may compromise their ability to live independently. These are treatable medical conditions, and help is available.
The OLDR program in Oklahoma is a federally funded grant program designed to increase senior citizens’ access to mental health and substance abuse treatment services. Following the Elders’ Wraparound model, OLDR works closely with the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services’ (ODMHSAS) outstanding program of children’s wraparound and statewide Systems of Care programs to coordinate care for older people, and their caregivers, at the highest risk of needing treatment. The goal is to link older adults with community based services through a local OLDR Community team where one is available.
OLDR wants to be in place for every county in Oklahoma. We are just beginning and have two sites:
Grand Lake Mental Health Center
Jim Taliaferro Community Mental Health Center
Senior Services Program at HOPE Community Services, Inc.
Senior Services at HOPE provides outreach, education, case management, psychiatric social rehabilitation services, medication clinic services, and therapy for people ages 60 and over who are diagnosed with a mental health or co-occurring disorder. Senior Services plans, coordinates, and facilitates educational opportunities for the community and works closely with other service providers to identify needed resources for the senior population utilizing best practice treatment options. This program is successful in assisting older consumers to meet their wellness and recovery goals.
HOPE’s Senior Services Program receives funding through a community block grant from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (ODMHSAS) and has been in operation for nine years.
Treatment of Depression in Older Adults, Evidence-Based Practices
This 27 minute film gives viewers basic information about the treatment of late life depression, including the following:
- Philosophy and values,
- Basic rationale,
- How evidence-based practices for diagnosing and treating depression in older patients has helped improve the quality of life for the older adult,
- Collaboration between mental health and primary health services and
- How traditional providers benefit from these models of care.
Director of Aging/Older Services