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date: 17 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the literature on barriers to mental healthcare utilization experienced by older adults, critically evaluating progress towards reducing barriers. Barriers are divided into client (i.e. stigma, perception of need, attitudes), therapist (i.e. attitudes, training), and mental health system variables (i.e. access). Advances in integrated models of care are reviewed, including a discussion of those older adults who may not be well served by these models. Older populations in rural areas continue to face significant barriers to mental healthcare, although telehealth interventions are currently being evaluated and show promise. Research on barriers to mental healthcare rarely include ethnic minority elders and, although good conceptual models are available (e.g. Hwang et al. 2008), research has yet to investigate the multiple factors that limit access to care and ways to facilitate access. Finally, this chapter provides practice recommendations for reducing barriers to mental healthcare utilization.

Keywords: barriers, mental health, utilization, underserved, access

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