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Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging$
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Barbara Berkman and Sarah D'Ambruoso

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173727.001.0001

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Community Mental Health Centers

Community Mental Health Centers

(p.469) 39 Community Mental Health Centers
Handbook of Social Work in Health and Aging

Sherry M. Cummings

Kimberly M. Cassie

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on community mental health centers (CMHCs), which are traditionally underutilized by seniors. Tracing the background of social work practice in community mental health centers, the impact of deinstitutionalization and devolution is considered. The chapter identifies the emerging focus on “behavioral health care,” and a role for CMHCs in managed care. It cites recent studies suggesting that nearly all CMHCs provide services to older adults, and that the majority of centers now offer specialized geriatric services. Nonetheless, mental illness among older adults continues to be undertreated, and seniors continue to be underrepresented in these care settings. The increased CMHC use by seniors is expected in coming years, and the challenges this will pose for the setting itself and the professionals involved are outlined.

Keywords:   aging, elderly, social work practice, community health centers, health services

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