Mental Health Services for Older Adults

Creating a System That Tells the Story

Published in: Policy Brief (UCLA Center for Health Policy Research), Volume 2 (January 2018)

Posted on RAND.org on April 03, 2019

by Janet C. Frank, Alixe McNeill, Nancy Wilson, Danielle Dupuy, JoAnn Damon-Rodriguez, Alina I. Palimaru, Kathryn G. Kietzman

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In 2004, voters in California approved Proposition 63 for passage of the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA). From thattime until 2014, over $13 billion in the state's tax revenue was allocated for public mental health services. There is very little information available to answer critical questions such as these: How much of this amount was spent in the interests of older adult mental health? What benefits were gained from services delivered to older adults? This policy brief promotes recommendations for specific age-relevant indicator utilization and for an expanded system of uniform and transparent data for all types of MHSA-funded programs. These two policy directions are necessary in order to document the older adult mental health care services provided and to track outcomes at the state level for MHSA programs. A third recommendation centers on assuring that the mental health workforce is prepared to utilize and report age-relevant data indicators.

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