Training Materials for Aging & Disability Resource Centers (ADRC)

Recognizing and responding to behavioral health needs of older adults

Working with Mission Analytics and funded by SAMHSA and ACL, we provided tailored instruction and resources to help states better meet the behavioral health needs of older adults through their No Wrong Door system.


Thirteen states received grants to further their No Wrong Door system, which streamlines access to services for older adults and people with disabilities. Within these systems, person-centered counselors (PCCs) work closely with clients to connect them to appropriate services.

More than 125 PCCs across the 13 grantee states attended our webinar training focused on recognizing and responding to behavioral health issues and preventing suicide among older adults.

  • Needs assessment
  • Training and workforce development

Streamlining access to services 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living awarded grants to 13 states to help them enhance their No Wrong Door system for long-term services and supports. In a “No Wrong Door” system, a person seeking services through one agency receives information and guidance on the full range of available community-based services across agencies, so they can make informed choices and access services more easily. 

Person-centered counselors serve as system navigators, helping people make sense of a complex system and connecting them to appropriate services based on their unique preferences, challenges, and goals. Because they work so closely with clients to understand their varied and unique life experiences and service needs, person-centered counselors are well-positioned to identify unaddressed needs, including indicators of behavioral health issues.

Empowering system navigators to identify issues

Responding to a survey, person-centered counselors identified “behavioral health needs of older adults” as a high priority and a topic on which they could use more information. SAMHSA and ACL contracted with HSRI and Mission Analytics to provide a training and resource guide on the subject. 

The webinar we developed and presented was intended to help person-centered counselors:

  • Summarize information on behavioral health issues of older adults
  • Recognize the presence of these issues in the context of person-centered counseling
  • Learn strategies to respond appropriately 
  • Know where to obtain more specialized/in-depth knowledge

It included four modules:

  1. Recognizing and Responding to Older Adult Behavioral Health Issues 
  2. Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors 
  3. Navigating Medicaid Behavioral Health 
  4. Self-Care for Staff
Featured projects image
Older adults are often misdiagnosed or undertreated for behavioral health issues. Our training included strategies to help person-centered counselors overcome barriers and engage older adults in treatment.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Administration on Community Living

Project Partner(s):

Mission Analytics

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