IOM calls for more mental health workers

The Institute of Medicine is calling for an increase in the mental health workforce, noting that the healthcare industry is not adequately prepared for the needs of the baby boomer generation, according to a report (.pdf) released yesterday. The report shows that one in five adults age 65 and older have either mental health or substance abuse issues. However, the industry noticeably is lacking in geriatric specialists and staff who are trained in both geriatric and mental health or substance abuse care, Kaiser Health News reported.

"There is a conspicuous lack of national attention either to preparing the healthcare workforce … or to ensuring sufficient numbers of personnel for the rapidly growing elderly population," the IOM wrote. The IOM has encouraged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the National Health Care Workforce Commission to help facilitate increased funding and staff. Article