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A Perilous Arc of Supply and Demand: How Can America Meet the Multiplying Mental Health Care Needs of an Aging Populace?

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The number of geriatric social workers and psychiatrists is inadequate to address the current and future psychosocial and mental health needs of the rapidly growing and increasingly diverse older population. This article documents this shortage and some structural reasons that underlie it; including negative stereotypes and lower salaries than other specialties and the gendered nature of social work. Some promising approaches to the recruitment, retention and preparation of both geriatric psychiatrists and social workers are identified, however. Innovative collaborative care models are suggested as cross disciplinary approaches to meeting older adults' psychosocial needs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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  • Practitioners and researchers in the field of aging have long relied on Generations to provide them with in-depth research, practical applications, and valuable insight into the lives of older adults and those who work with them. Each issue features several articles on a single topic, guest-edited by one or more recognized experts in the subject area, and includes contributions from a range of practitioners, researchers, policymakers and elders. Authoritative and comprehensive, Generations offers a wide range of perspectives on relevant and timely topics in aging. This is what makes Generations an ideal resource for professionals, academics and anyone interested in aging.
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