Geriatric Mental Health Partnership

The Geriatric Mental Health Partnership (GMHP) was established as a voluntary, public-private partnership workgroup in 2007.  The GMHP was formed when a group of representatives from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS), long-term care provides and administrators, and Virginia provider associations came together to discuss barriers to quality mental health services for older adults.

The volunteer-based group has grown extensively in the past ten years, now including members from dozens of health and human services agencies (local and state) and stakeholders.

Recent GMHP meetings, grant proposals and training initiatives have focused heavily on the mental health issues that older adults in the Commonwealth face, from screening and access to acute or emergency situations to ongoing, long-term care services.  GMHP members frequently report on challenges and opportunities for interdisciplinary, multi-faceted approaches to care that incorporate non-pharmacological interventions and the need to support providers of acute or crisis services as well as long term care services.

2019 Meetings

DATE: Friday, April 5, 2019

TIME: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

WHERE: 2112 W. Laburnum Avenue, Suite 206

Number: (866) 439-4480
Password: 195621#

Join Zoom Meeting:

RSVP: Please RSVP here as we will be providing lunch and need an accurate count for our order. If you are unable to attend in person, but would like to dial in, please make a comment on the RSVP form in the “What topics would you like added to the agenda?” text box, so we will know who is going to be on the conference line:  (866) 439-4480 / Password: 195621#

DATE: Friday, July 12, 2019

TIME: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

WHERE: 2112 W. Laburnum Avenue, Suite 206

DATE: Friday, October 18, 2019

TIME: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

WHERE: 2112 W. Laburnum Avenue, Suite 206

Educational Topic:  Panel on various aspects of CBD and changes of the Board of Pharmacy Regulations which will affect the healthcare facilities and operations.

2018 Meetings

DATE: Friday, April 6, 2018

TIME: 10:00 am

WHERE: 2104 W. Laburnum Ave


DATE: Friday, June 1, 2018

TIME: 10:00 am

WHERE: 2104 W. Laburnum Ave


DATE: Friday, October 5, 2018

TIME: 10:00 am

WHERE: 2112 W. Laburnum Ave., Suite 206, Richmond VA 23227.


DATE: Friday, December 14, 2018

TIME: 10:00 am

WHERE: 2112 W. Laburnum Ave., Suite 206, Richmond VA 23227.



Improving service delivery effectiveness by increasing capacity and providing accountability for service outcomes is the definitive goal of this group. Via collaborative evidence-based practices, communities are providing direct services and building the necessary infrastructure to support expanded services for meeting the diverse mental health needs of older individuals.  Such a foundation is critical for delivering and sustaining effective mental health outreach, treatment and prevention services, as well as resources to support the direct delivery of services.  Such efforts come from local networks of public-private-academic partners.

Several critical issues were identified early on in the Partnership’s process. From these, a strategic plan was developed identifying four key areas to address: Collaboration, Regulation, Resource Management, Professional Development.

The strategies involved are both macro and micro. The macro emphasis develops an informed, networked, and competent public-private-academic collaborative resource and provider service base. The micro emphasis provides direct support services to older adults who are at risk for or are experiencing mental health issues.  Such direct support will also prevent mental health issues of caregivers, while allowing older adults to age in place longer, delaying the need for a more intensive level of care.  Both maximize current federally, state, and privately funded endeavors.


  1. Improve quality, accessibility and availability of mental health service delivery for older adults via an enhanced service network
  2. Enhance the quality of care via regulations, standards, and educational efforts that promote best practices
  3. Maximize funding levels via outcomes based measurement systems


This endeavor will build a solid foundation for coordinating the delivery and continuation of effective outreach, treatment and prevention services.  It will capitalize on existing efforts improving service delivery effectiveness by increasing access, capacity and accountability for service outcomes.

Via collaborative evidence-based practices, among private, public and academic entities, it will coordinate and provide direct services while building the necessary infrastructure to support existing service coordination for long-term continuation of expanded services.  It will maximize current federal, state, and private endeavors, to include Virginia’s Systems Transformation Initiative, PACE, Virginia’s No Wrong Door initiative, Virginia’s Money Follows the Person Demonstration, and Virginia’s community integration (Olmstead) initiative.

Such efforts will meet the diverse needs of older individuals and their caregivers with mental health issues in cost effective ways and ensuring long term viability.


  1. Increase the number of individuals served, ranging from information, referral, and education through mental health interventions
  2. Reduce the length of stay in acute care and state facilities
  3. Reduce mental health admissions to acute care facilities /state facilities
  4. Prevent admissions to state mental health and long term care facilities
  5. Educate workforce participants to reduce falls, restraints, and reportable incidents
  6. Improve caregiver stress and ability to manage the support of the older adult
  7. Delay nursing home/residential placement, promoting aging in place
  8. Educate students receiving specialized mental health gerontology experience
  9. Enhance future planning and funding efforts by collecting data, creating evidence-based  practices, identifying service gaps, and addressing culturally sensitive needs to improve access and utilization




  • Promote collaboration, communication and trust for enhanced resource development and utilization
  • Advance Centers of Excellence (COE’s) of both public and private entities
  • Develop an older adult support website for ongoing online professional consultation
  • Complement statewide mental health transformation initiatives
  • Encourage regional efforts to actualize best practices in communities
  • Hold an annual statewide conference with key speakers and workshops to explore evidence-based best practices, identifying gaps and trends in the field, while synthesizing these findings




  • Review regulations and standards that need updating to match current best practices (i.e. reforming psychotropic medication use)
  • Educate the workforce in best practices
  • Post mental health best practice care examples and educational materials on the older adult support website




  • Develop outcomes-based measurement systems to ensure effective and efficient use of funds
  • Maximize funding levels via outcomes-based best practices
  • Pursue grants, foundation and other funding sources to continue efforts
  • Identify service gaps and pursue funding




  • Education and train the workforce on supporting older adults
  • Refine clinical and business best practices
  • Encourage regional efforts to actualize best practices in communities
  • Hold an annual statewide conference with key speakers and workshops to explore evidence-based practice, identifying gaps and trends in the field, while synthesizing these findings




  • Continue prior efforts, refining as needed
  • Identify service gaps
  • Key in on special populations (e.g. Corrections)


VA Statistics on Older Adults and Mental Health

  • BAR ONE 50% 50%
  • BAR2 60% 60%
  • BAR3 70% 70%

An estimated 20.4 percent of adults aged 65 and older met criteria for a mental disorder, including dementia during the previous 12 months (Karel, Gatz & Smyer, 2012).


More than 50 percent of residents have some form of cognitive impairment, and many nursing home patients have personality disorders exacerbated by chronic health problems (Gabrel, 2007).


VA Statistics on Older Adults and Mental Health

  • BAR4 80% 80%
  • BAR5 90% 90%


LeadingAge Virginia is an association of not-for-profit aging services organizations serving residents and clients through life plan/continuing care retirement communities, senior housing, assisted living, nursing homes, adult day centers and home and community based services. We are not-for-profit organizations working together to expand the world of possibilities for aging.

LeadingAge Virginia effects policy and advocacy. Through education and shared learning, our members continue to improve their quality programs and services. We offer a growing abundance of educational opportunities, provider connections and public resources for those seeking trustworthy advice about aging.

LeadingAge Virginia’s strategic plan aspires to achieve our vision of positive aging for each Virginian.

The Riverside Center for Excellence in Aging and Lifelong Health’s (CEALH) mission is to integrate interdisciplinary aging research with clinical capabilities to develop innovative programming that can be applied and sustained by Riverside Health System, the community, and other providers of aging-related services to improve care and better meet the needs of a growing older adult population.

Its vision is to lead the development of model communities that will promote the well-being and independence of people as they age through translational research and widespread application.

The Virginia Health Care Association – Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VHCA-VCAL) is a member-driven organization dedicated to advocating for and representing the interests of over 300 Virginia nursing centers and assisted living communities, the 29,000 residents they serve through the selfless efforts of nearly 30,000 dedicated care-giving staff. We’re proud of our role as the Commonwealth’s largest association representing long term care.

VHCA-VCAL’s strength, effectiveness, and integrity are significantly enhanced by the diversity of its membership which includes proprietary, non-profit, and government-operated facilities. VHCA-VCAL members are dedicated to providing the highest standard of care and enhancing the quality of life for individuals needing traditional long term residential nursing home, sub-acute or short-term care, rehabilitative and assisted living services.