Skip to Main Content

Office of Mental Health

Geriatric Mental Health

This website is designed to provide you with information and resources related to geriatric mental health, as well as updates related to the geriatric service demonstration program established by the Office of Mental Health following the enactment of New York State's Geriatric Mental Health Act.

In 2011, the first of the post-war "baby boom" generation – those born between 1946 and 1964 – turned 65 years old, initiating an "elder boom" that will double the number of older adults in the United States from 35 million people in 2000 to 70 million in 2030. In New York State, the number of people aged 65 or older is expected to increase more than 50 percent, from 2.5 million to 3.9 million people during the same time period. The number of older adults with mental illness in the United States will also double from 2000 to 2030, and the the number of adults aged 65 or older who have mental illness in New York State is expected to increase by 56 percent, from 495,000 in 2000 to 772,000 people in 2030.

This dramatic increase in the number of older adults who will require mental health services raises concerns about the ability of health, mental health, and aging services to provide adequate access to services that respond to the unique needs of older adults in a coordinated way. Additionally, The projected growth of cultural minorities in the older adult population, the projected decrease in the proportion of working age adults, and the fact that fewer than 25 percent of older adults with mental illness currently receive treatment from mental health professionals present additional challenges.

Comments or questions about the information on this page can be directed to the Bureau of Program and Policy Development/Division of Adult Services.