Summary and Info
It is a privilege to be asked to write the foreword for so excellent a book, so timely and so much needed by the field. Not only is it most unusual these days to have a single authored volume on so broad a topic, but Dr. La Rue has done a superb job of providing both a scholarly treatise and a practical handbook. With a burgeoning elderly population and the corresponding increase in geriatric psychopathology, the needs of mental health services are exceeding by far the supply of appropriate providers. In an effort to meet this need, psychiatry, medicine, neurology, pharmacology, psychology, nursing, and social work have all made the provision of training in geriatrics and gerontology a high priority-but I fear we are losing the race. For example, multidisciplinary teams that assess, diagnose, and treat mental health disorders in elderly patients are incomplete without clinical psychologists and neuropsy chologists, and yet there is barely a handful of clinical psychologists trained in dealing with geriatric patients. We can count on our fingers the additional ones graduated each year. In hospitals, clinics, and private practices across the country, otherwise skilled psychologists are unprepared to respond to the special mental health needs of the elderly. A few CME programs are helping to address this need, but they are clearly not enough.
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