AAN News & Opinion
- The American Academy of Nursing has identified the development of healthy families, particularly those that are underserved, as one of its priorities. This is a broad mandate that focuses on physical and mental health promotion, maintenance, and treatment, recognizing that physical and mental health is intertwined. Mental health status is particularly precarious in families living in poverty and those confronted with chronic health problems, limited access to care, and the stigma associated with mental health problems.
- With 1 in every 5 adults over age 65 having mental illness, a projected 15 million will need services by 2030.1 Few nurses have specialized in geriatric mental health for a number of reasons: (1) The paucity of educational programs to prepare specialists, (2) the societal stigma associated with both aging and mental illness, (3) underpayment for services, and (4) lack of role models.2 Here we summarize the major accomplishments of the Academy’s Geropsychiatric Nursing Collaborative (GPNC), a Hartford-funded project designed to foster nursing’s contribution to the mental health of older Americans.