Older Americans Behavioral Health Series


A series of issue briefs and webinars

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and Administration on Aging (AoA) have partnered with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and others to develop a series of issue briefs and webinars to address behavioral health issues that are important to older Americans.

Issue Brief Series

The issue  brief series focuses on issues of suicide, anxiety and depression, prescription drug misuse and abuse, and alcohol abuse. The target audience for the Issue Briefs are the local and State Aging Services Network, behavioral health community, and substance abuse providers.

Older Americans Behavioral Health: Series Overview

Get an overview of issues, facts, evidence-based programs and practices, partnering opportunities, financing and other resources.

Issue Brief 1: Aging and Behavioral Health Partnerships in the Changing Health Care Environment

Review examples of strong partnerships for addressing behavioral health issues among older adults.

Issue Brief 2: Alcohol Misuse and Abuse Prevention

Get information on and examples of misuse and abuse of alcohol in older adults, as well as information on innovative screening, prevention, intervention, and treatment methods for alcohol and drug misuse among older adults.

Issue Brief 3: Screening and Preventive Brief Interventions for Alcohol and Psychoactive Medication Misuse/Abuse

Learn strategies for health care and social service organizations to provide screening and brief interventions for older adults who misuse alcohol and/or psychoactive prescription medications.

Issue Brief 4: Preventing Suicide in Older Adults

See how health care and social service organizations can prevent suicide in older adults.

Issue Brief 5: Prescription Medication Misuse and Abuse Among Older Adults

Explore strategies for education, screening, and early interventions for prevention of prescription medication misuse and abuse.

Issue Brief 6: Depression and Anxiety: Screening and Intervention

View information to help health care and social service organizations develop strategies to serve older adults with depression and anxiety.

Issue Brief 7: Using RE-AIM Implementation Framework to Improve Behavioral Health

Get information on fostering the adoption of evidence-based behavioral health programs and promising practices by state and local service system leaders and learn essential elements of behavioral health practices that support sustainability of services.

Issue Brief 8: Integration of Behavioral Health and Physical Health Care

Learn strategies for primary and behavioral health care providers to integrate care for older adults.

Issue Brief 9: Financing and Sustaining Older Adult Behavioral Health and Supportive Services

Review financing and sustainability strategies for providers of behavioral health and supportive services to older adults.

Issue Brief 10: Expanding Home- and Community-based Behavioral Health Services for Older Adults

Learn about innovative actions that five community organizations have taken to implement behavioral health programming for older adults and provides recommendations to help care providers implement effective behavioral health services.

Issue Brief 11: Reaching Diverse Older Adult Populations and Engaging Them in Prevention Services and Early Interventions

Identify strategies to reach and engage diverse older adult populations in prevention services and early interventions to address behavioral health concerns.

Issue Brief 12: Caregivers as Partners and Clients of Behavioral Health Services

Explore the behavioral health needs of informal caregivers.

Webinar Series

A complimentary webinar series provides a special opportunity to learn about critical behavioral health conditions and problems affecting older adults, including prescription medication misuse and abuse, suicide, depression, and anxiety and evidence-based prevention and treatment programs to address these problems.

Prescription Medication Misuse and Abuse

Get information on prescription medication misuse and abuse, which is a growing and deadly problem among older adults, especially the Baby Boomers.

Screening and Brief Interventions for Alcohol and Psychoactive Medication Misuse & Abuse

Learn about Screening and Brief Interventions (SBI), an evidence-based program to prevent and intervene early for alcohol and medication misuse for older adults at risk.

Depression, Anxiety and Suicide Prevention

Get an overview of depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention and background on state and local actions to implement evidence-based programs to address these issues.

Alcohol and Psychoactive Medication Misuse/Abuse Prevention

Learn the prevalence of, risk factors for, and impact of alcohol and psychoactive medication misuse/abuse on older adults as well as strategies for early intervention.

Partnerships: Key to Behavioral Health Service Success

Listen to community service leaders present their experience developing and maintaining partnerships in SAMHSA grants to “Enhance Older Adult Behavioral Services.”

Financing and Sustaining Behavioral Health Interventions

Explore current concerns regarding securing sustainable financing to continue the new services focused on prevention of suicide and prescription drug misuse and abuse among older adults.

Reaching and Engaging Older Adults in Behavioral Health

Hear leaders from research and community organizations share promising approaches to reach and engage older adults in prevention and early intervention for depression, and alcohol and medication misuse.

Suicide Prevention

Get an overview of the risk factors for suicide, screening tools, effective prevention interventions, and suicide prevention resources available from SAMHSA.

Caregivers as Partners and Clients of Behavioral Health Services

Learn about the role of caregivers in caring for older adults with behavioral health problems and the mental health impact that it has on lives of caregivers themselves.

More resources

Find more information on behavioral health and older adults in our Resources Library.