April 26, 2017
A mental health and aging coalition is characterized by the common interest of a diverse group of agencies, organizations and individuals working together to improve and increase mental health and substance abuse services to older adults. A coalition does not belong to nor does any agency, organization or individual control it but is an independent entity working for the benefit of all. It advocates on behalf of older adults with mental health and/or substance abuse problems by gathering information, serving as a forum for discussion and providing education and information to policy makers, agencies and organizations, service providers and the general public. Membership should include the public and private aging, mental health, substance abuse and primary health care systems, plus representatives from consumer, family and caregiver organizations, advocacy groups, professional organizations, higher education, the faith community, and other interested agencies and organizations. A Coalition can be organized at the state, regional or local level and should establish a linkage with the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging for the purpose of assuring a free exchange of information between the grassroots and national levels.