Monday, October 27, 2008

State of Mental Health and Aging in America

Good mental health is integral to overall health and is an emerging public health issue. The CDC’s Healthy Aging Program developed "The State of Mental Health and Aging in America" issue briefs. The recently released first issue brief documents the mental health of older adults 50 years of age and older at the national and state-levels using 6 mental health indicators from the 2006 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Cooperative Extension in 12 East Kentucky counties is participating in an outreach research project, Mental Health in Aging Initiative funded by the USDA Rura Health and Safety Education grant. This project focuses on building community capacity in Kentucky through raising awareness of the mental health issue in the aging population. "Aging in Kentucky: A Healthy State of Mind" strives to build the social and emotional support that this issue brief addresses as a problem. Adults age 65 or older reported being more likely, than adults 50-64, of "rarely" or "never" receiving the support ehy needed. (12.2% compared to 8.1%).

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