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Past GMHF Sponsored Events

2006 GMHF Symposium and Reception with Shelley Fabares
On March 12, 2006, television and movie actress Shelley Fabares spoke at the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation’s evening session, “One Family’s Struggle with Alzheimer’s”. The session was held as part of the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Fabares, whose mother developed Alzheimer’s disease, discussed her role as primary caregiver and her family’s experiences. The actress played Donna Reed’s daughter on “The Donna Reed Show,” and went on to star in three movies with Elvis Presley, and later in the Emmy Award winning sitcom “Coach” with Craig T. Nelson. She was also a top recording artist with the hit single “Johnny Angel.” Off-camera, Fabares has advocated on behalf of families with Alzheimer’s disease, and served on the national board of the Alzheimer’s Association and testified before congressional committees on the need for increased funding for Alzheimer’s research.

2006 Symposium Addressed Mental Health Needs of Older Latinos
The GMHF sponsored a session titled, “Mental Health of Older Latinos: Issues of Cultural Competency for the Geriatric Psychiatrist” at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. The session, designed to help clinicians understand how older Latinos express and interpret their symptoms of mental illness, was co-chaired by Foundation Chair Gary Kennedy, M.D., and Vice-Chair Martha Bruce, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Latinos, which now constitute the largest ethnic group in the United States and the fastest growing segment of the U.S. older adult population, face significant hurtles obtaining mental health care. Older Latinos are less likely to receive mental health care services than non-Hispanics. Barriers to quality care include the difficulty accessing Spanish-speaking health professionals and cultural differences in expressing symptoms and preferences for treatment.

2005 Geriatric Mental Health Foundation Consumer Forum
The Foundation co-sponsored a consumer forum in downtown San Diego in March 2005 in conjunction with the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s Annual Meeting. This Forum, which was designated as an official White House Conference on Aging event, focused on the barriers faced by older adult mental health consumers in obtaining quality mental health care and solutions to those barriers. More than 100 consumers and providers discussed access to care, stigma associated with mental illness, discrimination, and caregiving, among other issues. Recommendations from the Forum were presented to the White House Conference on Aging.

Author David Shenk Featured Speaker of 2005 Foundation Symposium
During a Foundation-sponsored symposium in March 2005, author David Shenk discussed how his interest in Alzheimer’s disease led him to write The Forgetting: A Portrait of Alzheimer's Disease. Following the talk, held in conjunction with the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry’s 2005 Annual Meeting in San Diego, a reception and book signing was held for attendees.

Roundtables on a National Initiative To Eliminate the Stigmas of Mental Illness and Aging
The Foundation worked with the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and hosted two roundtable discussions in 2003 and 2004 on stigma associated with geriatric mental health. A diverse group of participants—including consumers, advocates, health care providers, media representatives, and researchers—convened to formulate a national strategy focused on public information, media messages, provider education, and consumer empowerment.