Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen today joined her House colleague, Patrick Kennedy, and Senators Hillary Clinton and Susan Collins to introduce the "Positive Aging Act of 2007" that will integrate mental health services into primary care facilities for seniors.
The bill would establish an Office of Older Adult Mental health Services within the Administration on Aging. It would also direct the Assistant Secretary for Aging to make grants available to States as well as public and private non-profit organizations that provide mental health treatment to seniors.
Said Ros-Lehtinen, "As we reach the sunset of our lives we look forward to spending more time with loved ones and reaping the benefits of a long and successful life. This legislation will assure that our seniors do just that by including mental health screenings and treatment as part of their overall healthcare. This is essential as mental illnesses must be caught early for treatment to be successful. I urge my colleagues to join us in passing this important legislation,"
This legislation is endorsed by the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry, and the National Association of Social Workers, the Alzheimer's Association, the New York City Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, and the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging.