Older Adults and Serious Mental Illnesses: Session 1

Dr. Michelle Zechner, PhD, LSW, CPRP is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers, School of Health Professions, Department of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Counseling Professions. She has focused her 25 year career on supporting the recovery of people with mental illnesses and their families. She has worked in a variety of community and inpatient settings including nursing homes, outpatient mental health services, state psychiatric hospitals, and community services for older adults. In her current role she has focused on implementation of evidence-based psychosocial practices in psychiatric hospitals, developing and testing health and wellness promotion interventions in community settings, teaching students, training diverse mental health staff on best practice interventions for older persons with mental illnesses, and conducting research. Dr. Zechner's research includes the development of multi-domain wellness programs for people with mental illnesses, promotion of and adherence to physical activity in people with mental illness, use of peer health coaching strategies and identifying best practices for use with older adults with mental illnesses. She has co-authored peer-reviewed and technical publications on health promotion for people with mental illnesses, and has presented her work at local, national, and international conferences. She is passionate about supporting older adults with mental illnesses to improve their mental and physical health. 


Part 1 of the webinar addresses the following learning objectives:

  • Develop understanding of older adults with SMI
  • Describe this growing population
  • Identify unique concerns for this population
    • Health challenges
    • Psychiatric symptoms
  • Evaluate the strengths that develop with older age


Click here to view a recording of the webinar delivered on March 20, 2019. (Please note the recording begins a couple of slides in). 

Click on the download link above to access the webinar slides. 

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