Mental Health Professionals in Gerontology: An Insight into Their Perceptions, Experiences, and Needs


SİVİŞ ÇETİNKAYA R., McCrae C. S.

CLINICAL GERONTOLOGIST, vol.33, no.1, pp.16-20, 2010 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/07317110903344992
  • Journal Name: CLINICAL GERONTOLOGIST
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.16-20
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes

Abstract

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.