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Aging Population Services

The 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. In response to the demographic shift in our state projecting older adults will outnumber children and youth by 2030, the Department has established a division of Aging Services. This division is pro-actively infusing dedicated resources to elevate behavioral health as a foundation of older adult health and well-being.

While the Department’s care and services, including Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (formerly Community Mental Health Clinics) have always been available to Oklahomans across the lifespan, Aging Services is focused on enhancing the opportunity specifically for older adults to experience age-informed health, mental health, and substance use services.

The Department is working with multiple stakeholders to build the requisite infrastructure to support the health and well-being of older adults through a purposefully curated system of care relevant to the older adults of today and tomorrow. This work is guided by the newly forming Behavioral Health Forum on Aging. The Forum is focused on policy and practice to develop and sustain a system of care, including strengthening inter-organizational collaboration, workforce development and support, and a campaign to enhance the understanding about what it may mean to age (physically, physiologically, psychologically, emotionally, socially) and how we can embrace aging while simultaneously working toward a more age-inclusive society.

Several workforce development trainings are already underway by the Department through the Center of Excellence Training Institute, including Aging 101: An Overview for Leadership (1.5 hours), Aging 201: A Comprehensive Analysis (6.5 hours), Peer Recovery Support Specialist with a Focus on Older Adults (6.5 hours), and How to Use the Geriatric Depression Scale (1.0 hours). Further, through work with our partners, we seek to develop and disseminate information on additional trainings to the broad array of providers who work with older adults both directly as well as those in administrative and leadership roles, AND to also ensure this information is available to advocates and older adults.

Alisa West Cahill

Aging Services Project Manager

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