Geriatric Mental Health Partnership


As the aging population continues to grow, and use of State Hospitals as the site of extended behavioral health care continues to diminish, it is essential that community-based staff and providers be prepared for the rapid growth of older adults with behavioral health and dementia-related issues. This is a key issue for workforce development as the Commonwealth prepares for the future.

Effective training enables staff to more quickly identify and address behavioral health-related issues before the older adult’s condition declines further or situations escalate to possibly becoming dangerous to other frail elders (or caregivers) nearby. It also helps staff distinguish between behavioral issues which can be safely addressed at the facility (or at home) versus those which constitute a true psychiatric emergency and might require inpatient treatment. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) initiative “to Improve Behavioral Health and Reduce the Use of Antipsychotic Medications in Nursing Home Residents” has made training even more urgent.

Due to concern about potential harmful effects of certain psychoactive medications on older adults, particularly those with dementia, CMS has recommended staff training focusing on person-centered interventions to address problematic behaviors rather than relying on the use of medications. This training can ultimately have beneficial effects on the residents’ quality of life and functioning, in addition to enhancing the knowledge, skills, and retention of staff.

GMHP has initiated and co-produced a library of 18 webinars within a six-part series. These webinars have attracted a continuously growing audience, which attests to the unmet need for this type of training: close to 7,000 individuals registered for the live events and 4,640 actually attendees.




  • Participants attending individually 70% 70%
  • Participants attending in group 30% 30%

Review Series VII of webinars to be held between November 28, 2018 and March 13, 2019 and register now at

Series VII - blk