Behavioral Health


Behavioral health is the promotion of mental health and well-being, the treatment of mental and substance use disorders, and the support of those who experience and/or are in recovery from these conditions.

Anyone, regardless of age or ability, can experience a behavioral health condition, such as depression, substance misuse, or suicidal thoughts. Behavioral health problems are not a normal part of aging or of living with a disability, but older people and people with disabilities are less likely to receive mental health treatment.

Knowing the signs of behavioral health problems and the resources available can lead to faster diagnosis and treatment and help prevent social isolation, increased disability, and other complications.

Through its Aging and Disability Networks, ACL offers a wide range of resources to help older adults, people with disabilities, families, caregivers, and communities support behavioral health and well-being.

The following resources from ACL, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Council on Aging (NCOA), and others offer a range of information on behavioral health topics.

Training and Toolkits


Fact Sheet: Opioids and Older Adults (ACL)
Issue Brief: The Opioid Public Health Emergency and Older Adults (ACL)
A Guide to Using Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services (SAMHSA, CMS)
Fact Sheet: Chronic Illness and Mental Health (NIMH)
A Day in the Life of Older Adults: Substance Use Facts (SAMHSA)
Growing Older: Providing Integrated Care for an Aging Population (SAMHSA, HRSA)

Integrated Care for Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness and Medical Comorbidity: Evidence-Based Models and Future Research Directions (MHTTC)

Behavioral Health Profiles

The following profiles help communities identify focus areas, select goals, and target services to address priority issues for older adults. They compare state trends with those in the region and the nation.

  • Region I (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont)
  • Region II (New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands)
  • Region III (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia)
  • Region IV (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee)
  • Region V (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin)
  • Region VI (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas)
  • Region VII (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska)
  • Region VIII (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming)
  • Region IX (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, FSM, CNMI, Guam, Marshall Islands, Republic of Palau)
  • Region X (Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington)

Archived Event Materials

Last modified on 06/07/2019

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