Sending Office: Honorable Grace F. Napolitano
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Dear Colleague:

We are writing to invite you to a congressional staff briefing that will examine the emerging crisis of access to mental health services for older adults. This event  is being hosted by the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging (NCMHA), the National
Association of County Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability Directors (NACBHDD), the National Association for Rural Mental Health (NARMH), and the National Association of Counties (NACo), in coordination with Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA-32nd)
and Rep. John Katko (R-NY-24th), Co-Chairs of the House Mental Health Caucus. 

The briefing will be held on Thursday, May 17th, at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2168, from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM.  Box lunches will be available at 11:45 AM.

Nearly one in five older adults in America have one or more mental health and substance use conditions. If the prevalence of mental illness among older adults remains unchanged, over the next two decades, the number with mental and/or substance disorders
will nearly double from 8 million to 14 million older adults. Older Americans also have high rates of mental health related hospitalizations.  Unfortunately, fewer than 40% of older adults with mental and/or substance use disorders receive treatment.  Many
Medicare beneficiaries do not have access to a mental health professional because of their remote locations and the shortage of mental health providers. The opioid epidemic, social isolation and related issues are just a few of the factors that will magnify
the problem of access to needed care.

What can we do right now to address these issues affecting older adults and caregivers? Come hear a panel of experts discuss new policy and program approaches to these issues for older adults. 
Please see the attached agenda.

Please let us know if you and/or your colleagues would like to register for the event by sending an email to with your name, title, and organization.


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