Specialized Services for Older Adults with Mental Illness: Outcome of a Community-based Team Intervention

By Kareen Nour, Marijo Hébert, Jean-Pierre Lavoie, Alan Regenstreif, Bernadette Dallaire, Isabelle Wallach, Nona Moscovitz and Véronique Billette.

Published by The International Journal of Aging and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In Québec, the Centre de santé et de services sociaux (CSSS) Cavendish (Cavendish Health and Social Services Centre) offers innovative and specialized services to people aged 60 years and over who are living with mental health problems (specialized mental health services—SMHS 60+). These services take into account the particularities linked to age, mental health problems and the unique living conditions of users. Services provided follow guidelines identified as best practices with this clientele (Nour et al., 2010; 2011) and integrate a holistic and empowering intervention based on the recovery model (NASW, 2006). They are offered by multidisciplinary teams at the clinic and in the homes of clients. In addition, they include evaluation services, interventions in crisis situations, psy- chosocial support, medical care and evaluation of risk behaviours. This article presents the results of a single case longitudinal study which aims to evaluate the possible short-term outcome of SMHS 60+. According to the results of the study, the services seems to diminish anxiety symptoms among the population served. Moreover, the stronger the user-practitioner therapeutic alliance and the feelings of empowerment, the more pronounced the reduction in symptoms of anxiety. In addition, the therapeutic alliance positively influences the stabilization of depressive symptoms and risk behaviors. The therapeutic alliance and empowerment must therefore be prioritized in specialized mental health services in order for them to have significant outcome on the health of users.

Keywords: Outcome Evaluation, Mental Health, Specialized Services, Community, Older Adults, Moderation Effect

Aging and Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.97-116. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.056MB).

Kareen Nour

Researcher, Direction de santé publique , Research and Expertise Center in Social Gerontology, DSP Montérégie, Longueuil, Quebec, Canada

Ph.D. in public health (Université de Montréal). Dr. Nour’s research interests are in program evaluations varying from public health initiatives to first line services for older adults (mental health services and prevention and health promotion programs).

Marijo Hébert

Research professional, CSSS Cavendish-CAU, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Master’s degree in social work (Université de Montréal). Ms. Hébert is a social worker at the Caregiver Support Centre of CSSS Cavendish providing services such as short-term counselling. She has also developed an expertise in palliative care.

Jean-Pierre Lavoie

Researcher, Research and expertise center in social gerontology, CSSS Cavendish-CAU, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Ph.D. in applied human sciences (Université de Montréal). Dr. Lavoie is a researcher at CREGÉS and an Associate Professor in the Schools of Social Work at McGill University and Université du Québec à Montréal. His research focuses on caregiving, intergenerational solidarities, homecare services and gentrification in an urban environment.

Alan Regenstreif

Social Worker, CSSS Cavendish-CAU, Montreal, Québec, Canada

Master’s degree in social work (McGill University), D.I.A. in institutional administration and B.A in psychology (Concordia University). Mr. Regenstreif is the coordinator of the mental health and aging cutting-edge services.

Prof. Bernadette Dallaire

Associate professor, School of social Work, Université Laval, Quebec, Quebec, Canada

Ph.D. in sociology (Université Laval). Dr. Dallaire is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Université Laval. Her research interests are in social gerontology, mental health, intervention and evaluation, caregivers, and the link between informal caregiving and formal services.

Isabelle Wallach

Researcher, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Ph.D. in ethnology (Université Denis Diderot, Paris VIII) and postdoctoral studies in social gerontology (CREGÉS, CSSS Cavendish-CAU). Dr. Wallach is a Professor in the Department of Sexology at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). Her research interests are related to issues of aging, HIV and sexuality and their cultural dimensions.

Nona Moscovitz

Manager, mental health programs, CSSS Cavendish-CAU, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Master’s degree in social work (McGill University). Ms. Moscovitz is Program Manager in the Mental Health and Addictions Program and the Mental Health and Aging Cutting-Edge Service, CSSS Cavendish – CAU.

Véronique Billette

Coordonnator, ‘’Vieillissement, exclusion sociale et solidarités’’ research team of the Research and expertise center in social gerontology, CSSS Cavendish-CAU, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Master’s degree in psychology (Université Laval), Ph.D candidate in sociology (Université du Québec à Montréal). Ms. Billette is the coordinator of the research team Vieillissements, exclusions sociales et solidarités (VIES). Her research interests are in social exclusion and inclusion, recognition, social movements and collective action.