A $250,000 grant from the New York State Office of Mental Health will establish behavioral health care services for older adults through an internal partnership with our Article 28 clinic. The primary project objectives are to screen and assess older adult patients for mental health issues and substance use disorders using validated tools; implement patient navigation and care management services in the medical clinic; and improve mental and behavioral health in older adults. Odyssey Housewill be able to provide services to 80 older adults, ages 55 or older, with mental health and/or substance use disorders per year, for a total of 240 older adults over three years.
The goal of the program is to seamlessly integrate behavioral health care with physical health care for older adults through care management, patient navigation and treatment planning. To that end, Odyssey House will hire a geriatric social worker, to be located at the Article 28 clinic, who will meet with older patients to discuss (as well as screen and assess for) unaddressed behavioral health care needs, which often take a toll on physical health. Together, the geriatric social worker and patients will work to develop a treatment plan outlining behavioral and physical health care goals and needs.
Odyssey House is one of ten agencies that were awarded service demonstration grants authorized by the Geriatric Mental Health Act. These three-year grants will provide $4.1 million to the nonprofit providers and focus on health integration. Because previous projects demonstrated that collaborative partnership models of integrated health care increased the probability of creating and sustaining effective programs, applicants were required to engage in at least one formal internal or external agency partnership in order to assure the on-site provision of integrated services.