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Office of Mental Health

Round 1 Grants

For the first round of service demonstration program grants, the Office of Mental Health (OMH) solicited proposals for two types of programs – Gatekeeper and Physical Health – Mental Health Integration. In April 2007, after receiving a record number of RFP applications, OMH made nine awards throughout the State for five-year service demonstration projects. The target population was older adults 65 years old and older whose independence, tenure, or survival in the community was in jeopardy because of a behavioral health problem.

Gatekeeper Programs

Gatekeeper programs are designed to proactively identify at-risk older adults in the community who are not connected to the service delivery system. Gatekeepers are non-traditional referral sources who, in the normal course of their daily work, come in contact with older adults who might otherwise be isolated. Examples of Gatekeepers include postal workers, utility meter readers, police officers, firefighters, senior center personnel, etc. Gatekeepers are trained to recognize basic signs and symptoms of mental health problems that may indicate an elderly person is in need of help. Once they identify an older adult who might have such problems, they refer them to the Gatekeeper program. The agency then provides a community response by contacting the identified individual, determining his/her level of need and offering assistance in obtaining support services.

The three Gatekeeper Programs are listed below:

Physical Health – Mental Health Integration Programs

More than half of older people who receive mental health care receive such services from their primary care physicians. The advantages of treatment in a primary care setting for older adults include convenience, improved coordination of mental and medical disorders, and decreased stigma when seeking help from a primary care provider rather than from a mental health provider.

The six Physical Health – Mental Health Integration Programs are listed below:

Though not funded with monies allocated to the geriatric service demonstration program, Greene County implemented a Physical Health – Mental Health Integration Program at the initiative of its Department of Mental Health and has participated fully in OMH evaluation, consultation, and oversight activities designed for the service demonstration projects.

At the Sixth Annual Conference of the Geriatric Mental Health Alliance of New York, OMH staff presented on evaluation findings and lessons learnedPDF Document (620kb) from the geriatric service demonstration projects integrating physical and mental health care.

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