September 20, 2018

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Coalition News:

Looking to the Future of Geriatric Behavioral Health 


Over 200 practitioners, academics, advocates, government partners and other stakeholders came together for The Future of Geriatric Behavioral Health symposium at The NYU Kimmel Center on Thursday, September 13th. With the population of older adults growing and changing, participants spoke about better utilizing data and care networks to meet the multiple dimensions of behavioral health needs of older adults.

The event started with Commissioner Donna M. Corrado of the NYC Department for the Aging (DFTA) and Myla Harrison, the Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Mental Health in the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), setting the stage. Then, the Keynote, Gary J. Kennedy, M.D. of Montefiore/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, engaged the audience on the escalating behavioral health needs of older adults and the disparate availability of services. However, through smarter policy, such as bringing services to seniors instead of seniors to services, and developing collaborative care models to bridge the expanding gap between needs and resources for late life behavioral health.  

The symposium presented both clinical and policy panels featuring expert behavioral health service providers like SPOP (Service Program for Older People) and Samuel Field Y. Jane Bardavid portrayed how the roles of families may change, but not the relationships, during the clinical panel. Michael Friedman, Chair of The Geriatric Mental Health Alliance, provided remarks on advancing aging in place as a major policy goal and furthering the integration of mental health, substance use and physical health services.

Lead coverage of the symposium was published in Crain's Health Pulse. We appreciate your feedback on the intersection of aging and behavioral health issues. Please submit your comments to


Advocates Rally for World Suicide Prevention Day at NYC City Hall

Suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States. A research overview shared by SAMHSA, states that nearly 40,000 people in the United States die from suicide annually, or 1 person every 13 minutes.

To prioritize the importance of suicide prevention, The Samaritans of New York and The Coalition led a rally; joined by NYC Council Member Stephen Levinand representatives from Coalition members: ComunilifeCommunity AccessGMHCHamilton-Madison HouseNAMI Metro NYCVibrant Emotional Health; and advocates from CUNY, NASW of NYC, and STOMP Out Bullying, filled the steps on September 10th for World Suicide Prevention Day.

Together, we raised awareness of the stigma attached to seeking help for anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts. A press release was shared with more information to promote the rally. Suicide Prevention Awareness month continues with events scheduled through September.


We invite you to continue reading other news items from The Coalition.