Lunch Symposium: Healthy Aging in Mental and Substance Use Disorders: Not an Oxymoron

Tuesday, July 17
11:50 AM - 12:50 PM
Location: Regency Ballroom-Lower Level

Please note this symposium is presented with the generous support of the Alliance for Aging Research.

With the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, the population of older adults in the US will double from 2010 to 2030, putting additional strain on available mental health resources. Recognizing the need to build consensus around what needs to be done to address this crisis and prepare for the future, the Alliance for Aging Research and the Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California San Diego, convened top academic, provider, and public policy experts in the field of geriatric mental health, patient advocacy organizations, and representatives from appropriate federal agencies to explore the essential mental and behavioral health concerns of older Americans, identify gaps, and propose practical solutions.

Older adults are not recognized as a high-risk population for non-dementing mental illnesses and substance use disorders, yet an estimated 20 percent of older adults have diagnosable mental and/or substance use disorders. These conditions, which are frequently untreated among older adults, have a detrimental impact on health and contribute to social isolation, institutionalization and high suicide rates. At the same time, attention needs to be paid to the positive side of aging, including resilience, well-being, compassion, and wisdom, which should be used for enhancing function and reducing morbidity in later life in people with these conditions.

This panel discussion includes leaders from the convening organizations, as well as speakers from the three areas of focus: 1) mental health issues accompanying dementia; 2) depression and suicide; and 3) serious mental illness and substance use disorders. The meeting recommendations are in press in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

This symposium is presented with the generous support of the Alliance for Aging Research.

Continuing Education Credits are not available for this session.

Susan Peschin, MS

President and CEO
Alliance for Aging Research


Send Email for Susan Peschin

Brian Altman

Detailee, Office of the Director

Brian Altman is currently on a detail from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Office of the Director. At SAMHSA, Brian most recently served as both the Director of the Division of Policy Innovation (DPI) and the Acting Director of Legislation at the. As the DPI Director, Altman helped drive policy innovation in the field of behavioral health and provides policy counsel on major initiatives such as the agency’s budget and strategic priorities. Altman also helped develop appropriate responses to policy inquiries from the Department of Health and Human Services, other federal agencies, the White House and external stakeholders. Altman also helped lead SAMHSA’s efforts related to regulatory affairs, and the intersection of behavioral health with LGBT and aging populations.
Prior to joining SAMHSA, Altman was a senior government relations manager in Drinker Biddle & Reath’s Government Relations & Regulatory Affairs Practice Group. Altman represented a broad range of health care clients, including medical device corporations, professional associations, hospitals, community-based providers, public health advocacy organizations, and social science research entities. He provided clients with strategic counsel on a variety of policy and advocacy issues.
Before joining Drinker Biddle & Reath, Altman was the Director of Public Policy at the Suicide Prevention Action Network USA (SPAN USA), a division of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), where he directed public policy initiatives, initiated and maintained relationships with other national organizations, coalitions and federal elected and appointed officials, and provided advocacy training. Altman also served as the Acting Chief Operating Officer of SPAN USA, providing strategic guidance and operational management during the organization’s transition from an independent nonprofit to a division of AFSP.
Prior to joining SPAN USA, Altman served as legislative representative for the American Counseling Association (ACA), where he advocated on behalf of licensed professional counselors on Capitol Hill and with the administration, and handled issues such as Medicare reimbursement and independent practice authority in TRICARE. Altman also served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Claire V. Eagan, Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, and as political action committee manager for the American Forest and Paper Association.
Altman graduated from Duke University, cum laude, with a B.A. in public policy studies and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.


Send Email for Brian Altman

Dilip V. Jeste, MD

Director, Stein Institute for Research on Aging Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care, Estelle and Edgar Levi Chair in Aging, Distinguished Professor, Psychiatry and Neurosciences
University of California, San Diego


Send Email for Dilip Jeste

Grayson Norquist, MD, MSPH

Professor and Vice-Chair
Emory University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences


Send Email for Grayson Norquist

Molly V. Wagster, PhD

Chief, Behavioral & Systems Neuroscience Branch, Division of Neuroscience
National Institute on Aging

Dr. Molly V. Wagster, Ph.D. is Chief of the Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience Branch in the Division of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Dr. Wagster oversees administration and development of research in cognitive and emotional change with age and in sensory and motor disorders of aging. She directly manages a portfolio of research in mechanisms of cognitive change with age that spans research from molecules to behavior. She served as Project Officer for development of the NIH Toolbox® for Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function. She serves as a Federal Liaison to AARP’s Global Council on Brain Health and leads NIA's component of the joint McKnight Brain Research Foundation/NIA Research Partnership in Cognitive Aging, through the Foundation for NIH.

Dr. Wagster came to the NIA from the Department of Pathology, Division of Neuropathology, at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. For over a decade, Dr. Wagster investigated neural mechanisms of learning and memory changes with age in animal models and in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Wagster received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology (Biopsychology) from Tulane University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Neuropathology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Send Email for Molly Wagster


Lunch Symposium: Healthy Aging in Mental and Substance Use Disorders: Not an Oxymoron

Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for Lunch Symposium: Healthy Aging in Mental and Substance Use Disorders: Not an Oxymoron