The present study explored the perceptions, experiences, and needs of mental health professionals (MHPs) providing mental health services (MHS) to older adults in North Central Florida. Twenty MHPs from a variety of professional backgrounds were recruited. In-depth interviews focused on their motivation for working with elders, continuing education (CE) needs, professional qualities (personality characteristics, knowledge, and awareness) necessary for working with the elderly, and barriers to service provision. Patience was the most frequently cited basic personality characteristic needed; understanding of age-related physical/health problems was reported as the most important knowledge factor; and medications and age-related medical issues were the type of CE needed. Most MHPs perceived aging positively, and reported that working with the elderly was "rewarding." Perceived barriers to service provision were primarily funding related. Implications for recruiting and training more MHPs in geriatrics/gerontology are discussed.