The Institute Receives $1 Million Grant to Improve Health of Isolated Older Adults in Ulster County

New York, NY (September 21, 2016) – The Institute for Family Health was awarded $1 million in New York State Office of Mental Health funding to improve services for older adults in Ulster County. The funding will support a “triple partnership” of mental health, substance abuse and aging service providers who will collaborate to find and help older adults in need.

For the duration of the five-year grant, the Institute will deliver care by collaborating with two local agencies, Ulster County Office for the Aging (UCOFA) and the Child & Family Guidance Center Addiction Services (Step One). Through the new program, older adults and their caretakers will be able to access mental health, substance abuse and/or aging services through any of the partners. A new program coordinator and outreach worker will work in the community to identify older adults in need, and high-tech “telepsychiatry” and “telecounseling” services will be available to homebound older adults and those who have difficulty traveling to appointments.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to expand services for older adults in Ulster County,” said Dr. Virna Little, the Institute’s Senior Vice President of Psychosocial Services and Community Affairs, who will oversee the program. “There is so much unmet need, and together with our partners, we’re eager to begin reaching out to those in the community who we can help.”

The program will address many of the barriers faced by Ulster County older adults in need of services, including: limited availability of public transportation; difficulty or inability to travel to receive services; long wait times for substance abuse services; and lack of awareness about the services that are available. NYS OMH made this funding available following the recommendation of the Interagency Geriatric Mental Health and Chemical Dependence Planning Council in June 2015 for local partnerships, outreach support, off-site support, and technology to innovatively meet the unmet needs of older adults in New York State.