Friday, October 06, 2006

Elderly Screening Bill Goes to the President

They're going after kids with TeenScreen.  Now they're going after the elderly.   Who do you think will be next? 
It is time to start fighting back!

New York
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton
Statements & Releases
October 5, 2006

Clinton-Collins Measure to Improve Mental Health Services for Seniors Included in Older Americans Act

Legislation Sent to President for Signature Includes Clinton-Collins Positive Aging Act

Washington, DC – Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) today announced that the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization bill approved by the House and Senate includes a measure they authored that will enrich the lives and well-being of older Americans. The OAA bill includes provisions of the Positive Aging Act of 2005 authored by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) to improve access to mental health services for our nation’s seniors. The legislation now heads to the President's desk to be signed into law.

“I am proud that we have taken this important step forward in acknowledging and addressing the mental health needs of our seniors. We face an important yet exciting challenge as we prepare our country for the aging boom. What we have accomplished through reauthorization of the Older Americans Act will have an important impact on our systems of care going forward,” Senator Clinton said. “Older adults have the highest rates of suicide in our country and depression is the foremost risk factor. The Positive Aging Act is an important new way to help the nearly 20 percent of older Americans who experience mental health problems get the care and treatment they need and deserve.”

“I am pleased that Congress has shown its support for essential programs and services for our nation’s elderly by voting to reauthorize the Older Americans Act,” said Senator Collins. “The provisions of the bill that are based on our Positive Aging Act will help to promote the mental health and well-being of our older citizens. It is an investment that will return tremendous dividends in terms of improved quality of life, better patient outcomes, and more efficient use of health care dollars.”

The OAA legislation specifically incorporates Title I of the Positive Aging Act, authorizing a new competitive grant program for states to develop and operate multidisciplinary systems for the delivery of mental health screening and treatment services for older individuals who lack access to such services. Grant funding may also be used for:

• Programs to increase public awareness regarding the benefits of prevention and treatment of mental disorders in older Americans.

• Programs to reduce the stigma associated with mental disorders in older individuals and other barriers to the diagnosis and treatment of the disorders.

• Programs to reduce age-related prejudice and discrimination regarding mental disorders in older individuals.
NO to Screening our Kids!  No to Screening our Elderly!
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