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As the US population grows older, the demand for affordable and accessible mental health services is on the rise. Psychological services for seniors, particularly those in underserved communities (15.1 percent of Americans over the age of 65 currently fall below the poverty line according to the US Census Bureau, the largest portion of any age group) have become more critical than ever, especially in an uncertain economic climate. Recent figures show an estimated 20.4 percent of adults 65 and over living with a diagnosed mental disorder, including dementia. Over half have some form of cognitive impairment, often worsened by other chronic health problems. According to the American Psychological Association, recent efforts have focused on providing mental health and substance abuse services for increasingly diverse populations of seniors, and the need for these efforts will continue to increase substantially throughout coming decades.

When The Blues Won’t Let You Be

By Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News LOS ANGELES — Rini Kramer-Carter has tried everything to pull herself out of her dark emotional hole: individual therapy, support groups, tai chi and numerous antidepressants. The 73-year-old musician rattles off the list: Prozac, Cymbalta, Lexapro. “I’ve been on a bunch,” she said. “I still cry all the time.” Read more

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