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Aging Population Services

The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services promotes healthy communities and the provision of the highest quality care to enhance the well-being of all Oklahomans. Therefore, in preparation for the demographic shift projecting older adults will outnumber children and youth by 2034, the Department has established an Aging Services Division. This Division believes behavioral health is a foundational component of older adult health and well-being. The Division further believes that older adults have unique strengths, lived experiences, and needs that must be seen and heard to achieve the best possible outcomes. Ultimately, our vision is that all Oklahomans have the opportunity to age with behavioral health.

Aging Services is working with stakeholders to strategically develop an age-informed system of care relevant to the older adults of today and tomorrow. This work is guided by the newly developed Behavioral Health Forum on Aging. The Forum receives direction from Oklahoma's Older Adult Behavioral Health State Plan and is focused on policy and practice to curate and sustain an age-informed system of care, particularly across health, behavioral health, and social service domains.

Several age-informed workforce development trainings are available via the Department at no cost, and with an array of CEs, through the ODMHSAS Training Institute, including:

  • Aging 101: An Overview for Leadership (1.5 hours)
  • Aging 201: A Comprehensive Analysis (6.5 hours)
  • How to Use the Geriatric Depression Scale (1.0 hours)
  • And in partnership with the PRSS Team, Peer Recovery Support Specialist with a Focus on Older Adults (6.5 hours)

Additionally, in partnership with Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers, the Department seeks to make the evidence-based PEARLS program available throughout Oklahoma by facilitating access to Coach Training. PEARLS is a community-based program that helps older adults who are living with depression create happier, healthier lives and can be particularly beneficial for those who may have limited access to depression care.

Additional Resources

Alisa West Cahill

Aging Services Project Manager

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