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On June 7, 2011, over 30 professionals from various disciplines attended the first meeting of the new North Carolina Mental Health and Aging Coalition (MHAC) held in Raleigh. The purpose of the MHAC is to bring collaborative attention and action to the mental health needs of older North Carolinians. Older adult mental health issues are often serious, under-recognized, and untreated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 20% of individuals age 55 and older suffer from some form of mental health issue, with the most prevalent problem being depression. The NC Mental Health and Aging Coalition will focus on advocacy, training, and dissemination of evidence-based programs and practices in the state to make more effective and efficient use of resources. Coalition Steering Committee members include the Carolina Geriatric Education Center, NC Division of Aging and Adult Services, NC Division of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities/Substance Abuse Services and the UNC Institute on Aging.

The next meeting of the MHAC will be held on Thursday, September 15 from 1:00-3:30pm at the NC Division of Aging and Adult Services in Raleigh. To register for the meeting or obtain more information about the MHAC, email Ellen Schneider, MBA .