APA Works With Coalition To Develop Resolution for White House Conference on Aging

The Coalition on Mental Health and Aging, of which APA is a member, held a miniconference on "Emerging Issues in Mental Health and Aging" to develop resolutions regarding mental health issues that will become more important as our population ages. This meeting was one of many held to prepare resolutions for presentation at the White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) in May. Only 40 resolutions (selected from several hundred) will actually be presented to the WHCoA delegates for their consideration.

APA's two voting delegates to "Emerging Issues in Mental Health and Aging" were Steve Zarit, PhD, President of Division 20, and James Jackson, PhD. APA Members Margy Gatz, PhD, and Mick Smyer, PhD, authored background papers for the conference, which reviewed the research literature on a number of important areas in mental health and aging.

The conference participants developed the following resolution:

Congress shall appropriate a doubling of federal funding for basic, clinical, and services research in mental health and aging over the next decade, to enhance the development of effective preventive and treatment interventions to meet the needs of current and future generations of older individuals.

Although it is unlikely that this resolution will be considered by the WHCoA delegates, all of the miniconference resolutions will be disseminated widely to policymakers. They will also be published in a book along with the background papers prepared for the conference.

Support for this conference was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Center for Mental Health Services, and the Coalition's member organizations.

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