September 14, 2012

Media Advisory: Strengthening Mental Health Workforce to Meet Needs of Older Americans Focus of APA-Sponsored Congressional Briefing

Members of Congress will be briefed on key findings and policy recommendations to support an effective workforce response to the geriatric mental health and substance use crisis


Members from the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations will brief members of Congress on key findings and policy recommendations to support an effective workforce response to the geriatric mental health and substance use crisis. The IOM issued a report in July entitled The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands? which details the high prevalence of mental health and substance use issues among America’s increasingly diverse aging population and calls for strengthening the mental health workforce to address unmet needs and reduce health care costs. The briefing is co-sponsored by the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, the National Association of Social Workers, and the American Psychiatric Association, in cooperation with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.


Dan G. Blazer, MD, PhD, chair, IOM Committee on the Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations, AAGP member, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, professor of community and family medicine, Duke University Medical Center

Michael A. Hoge, PhD, APA member, professor and director of clinical training in psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine

María P. Aranda, PhD, MSW, NASW member, associate professor of social work and gerontology, School of Social Work, University of Southern California


Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012
Noon–1:30 p.m.


B340 Rayburn House Office Building
Independence Avenue and South Capitol Street
Washington, D.C. 20003


Funding for this study was secured following a yearlong advocacy campaign led by APA and partners from the AAGP, NASW and the American Psychiatric Association. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, then-Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., and Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wisc., designated $900,000 to fund this important study and APA supported the work of the IOM committee by providing workforce data and information on psychology’s role in addressing the mental health and behavioral health needs of older adults (PDF, 94KB) and the evolution of professional geropsychology

For More Information

Contact Nida Corry, PhD, APA senior legislative and federal affairs officer, by email or by phone at (202) 336-5931.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 137,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.