In the context of COVID-19, the needs and health disparities of older adults have been laid bare. Older adults with mental health and substance use issues have faced even greater disparities, as social isolation, loneliness, limited access to health care and support structures, and the stigma of behavioral health treatment have led to exacerbation of health issues and increases in “deaths of despair.”
As vaccinations rise, and our world begins to return to some new normal, many older adults – especially those with mental health and substance use issues – will not just bounce back. How do we plan for long term and secondary effects of the pandemic for older adults?
Meeting these needs will require collaboration across state entities, and perhaps across state lines, to build bridges and create policy for action that supports recovery. Participants from the Single State Authority (SSA), State Mental Health Authority (SMHA), and the State Unit on Aging (SUA), along with Housing Authority (HA), Transportation Authority (TA), and and community-based organizations will be invited to discuss local issues and resources to create solutions.
This event is by invitation only.