Public's view of mental health services for the elderly: responses to Dear Abby.
The need for adequate mental health services for older adults is an increasingly urgent issue as the life expectancy of Americans continues to extend; yet there are unresolved questions regarding the public's perception of service needs. The Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry collaborated with advice columnist Jeannie Phillips of "Dear Abby" to invite public feedback on mental health services for the elderly. Feedback was invited on access to services as well as perceived need for improvement in the quality or quantity of those services. The effort resulted in 800 responses that identified three primary issues: problems in accessing care, inadequate detection of mental health conditions by general practitioners, and a need for more psychotherapy services. It is hoped that this Open Forum will stimulate discussion throughout the country for the benefit of older persons with mental health needs as the country grapples with changes to come after the passage of health care reform.
Koh, S; Blank, K; Cohen, CI; Cohen, G; Faison, W; Kennedy, G; Kyomen, H; Liptzin, B; Meador, K; Rohrbaugh, R; Rusch, B; Sakauye, K; Schultz, S; Streim, J
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