Having Mental Health Services On-Site Doesn't Prompt Public Housing Residents to Seek Care

Mental health program for indigent elderly

This project delivered services to indigent, elderly inner-city residents with serious mental illness, living in public housing projects in New Brunswick, N.J.

Starting in December 1994, it was coordinated by the Comprehensive Services on Aging (COPSA) Mobile Geropsychiatric Treatment Team of the Community Mental Health Center and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Participants included those with pathological or disruptive behavior; alcohol or substance abuse problems; untreated declines in health and in the ability to carry out basic activities; and repeated non-compliance with treatment provided by health or social service professionals.

The project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) New Jersey Health Initiatives national program (for more information see Program Results).

Key Results:

  • Some 77 individuals, with an average age of 71.9 years, received direct services from the COPSA Mobile Geropsychiatric Treatment Team.
  • The median number of days from initially contacting a participant to assessment was 175.

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