Institute for Geriatric Social Work at Boston University to Provide Training to Emergency Psychiatric Service Providers
Contact: Kira Jastive, 617-358-1240 | firstname.lastname@example.org
(Boston) – Boston University today announced that the Institute for Geriatric Social Work (IGSW), part of the university’s School of Social Work (SSW), has partnered with the Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership (MBHP) to provide online training in aging to MBHP’s psychiatric service providers. As the “baby boom” generation ages, health and social service professionals are on the cusp of an unprecedented demographic boom. One of the major impacts will be on the provision of mental health services to older adults.
The need for workforce trained in elder care reaches across all states and most behavioral health settings. The MBHP has contracted with the IGSW to train 150 of its psychiatric Emergency Service Providers (ESPs) located in 26 Psychiatric Emergency Teams across Massachusetts. ESPs are contracted by the MBHP and the Department of Mental Health to provide 24-hour service for adults in need of immediate psychiatric intervention. Individuals who need emergency care receive assistance through crisis support, information and referrals.
The ESPs will receive 21 hours of online training from the IGSW to obtain a certificate in aging. IGSW‘s online training courses are internet-based, effective and efficient for training a geographically dispersed group of learners. The courses are designed to increase knowledge and skills for practitioners in areas such as health, mental health, and substance abuse issues in the aging population. IGSW has developed over 40 courses and offers an IGSW online Certificate in Aging. Since 2002, IGSW has provided training in aging to over 36,000 practitioners in every state of the country and in 13 countries worldwide.
Despite advances in mental illness treatment, older adults are still not receiving much needed services – largely due to a shortage of practitioners in the mental health workforce. Scott Miyake Geron, MSW, Ph.D., director of the IGSW, explains, “for too long, serious treatable mental health and substance abuse problems have gone untreated, either because they have failed to be identified, or because they have been misdiagnosed. The lack of adequately trained mental health professionals contributes to the needless suffering, ineffective or insufficient treatment, and unnecessary costs to individuals, their families, and society.”
“The collaboration between IGSW and MBHP strives to train practitioners as well as enhance mental health programs to skillfully serve older adults now and well into the future,” said Jennifer Piemme, program director of the BEST Bay Cove Urgent Care Center. “Our ESP clinicians have only just begun the training and have already given positive feedback to their supervisors about the program and how it will help in their work with older adults.”
Established in 2002 with a grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies, the Institute for Geriatric Social Work (IGSW) has become a leader in the effort to build a stronger workforce for an aging society through educational innovation and assessment. Over 36,000 IGSW-trained practitioners are currently working in the field and IGSW educational programs and training are now available in all 50 states and overseas. Located at Boston University School of Social Work, one of the nation’s preeminent social work programs, IGSW brings together expertise in instructional technology, educational design, and evaluation to improve the quality of practice of social workers and other social service practitioners who work with older adults and their families.
The Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership manages mental health and substance abuse services for more than 300,000 MassHealth members across the Commonwealth. Working collaboratively with Members, their families, advocates, state agencies, and providers, MBHP has created a community-based system of care that integrates mental health and primary. MBHP is committed to ensuring that Members receive clinically appropriate, high quality, accessible health care. To achieve this, MBHP has stressed the involvement of consumers and their families to ensure that their needs guide programs. For more information visit www.masspartnership.com.
The School of Social Work at Boston University is one of the oldest schools of social work in the country and is known for its research and training in the areas of substance abuse, gerontology, health and mental health, and children and youth, and for the involvement of its faculty in community-based projects.
Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU contains 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes, which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.