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Behavioral Health

Behavioral health issues, such as depression, are not a normal part of aging. Researchers estimate that one in four persons aged 55 and over experiences behavioral health disorders that are not part of the normal aging process. Despite advances, behavioral health issues among older adults is routinely underdiagnosed and undertreated.

Mental and physical health are integral to each other and to well-being. Older adults, family members, and others need to know that behavioral health issues among older adults are real and treatable. The more people know about mental health and aging, the more they can help themselves and others.

National Information and Resources

There are great resources available to help educate older adults and family member about behavior health issues and link them to services and treatment.

Mental provides one-stop access to mental health and mental health problems information for consumers and families, school systems, local communities, policy makers, professionals, and government and business leaders.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
TTY: 1-800-799-4889
24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Your call is routed to the nearest crisis center in the national network of more than 150 crisis centers.

Treatment Referral Routing Service
1-800-662-HELP (4357)
TTY: 1-800-487-4889
This Helpline provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, and recovery in English and Spanish.

Veteran’s Crisis Line
TTY: 1-800-799-4889
Connects veterans in crisis (and their families and friends) with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat, or text.

Geriatric Mental Health Foundation
Consumer information for older adults, family members, and caregivers is provided on a variety of behavioral health topics.

The National Mental Health Consumers Self-Help Clearinghouse
The purpose of the Directory is to provide a comprehensive central resource for information on national and local consumer-driven programs. Such programs have a proven track record in helping people recover from mental illnesses.

NIA Age Page – Depression
A publication from the National Institute on Aging regarding depression and older adults.

Administration on Aging
The Administration on Aging behavioral health webpage offers resources for professionals and families about a range of older adult mental health and substance abuse/misuse topics.

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Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), Aging and Disability Resources Centers, Aging Information and Referral services, and Title VI Native Americans aging programs are trusted community links to information and services for older adults and their caregivers. To find a program near you, start your search below.