Socio-Political Context. In 2001, Islamic fundamentalist terrorists hijacked four United States airliners and crashed them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. The U.S. government responds in 2003 by bombing Baghdad and starting the War in Iraq (infoplease, n.d.). Towards the end of the decade, an unforgettable mark in American history occurred when Barack Obama became the first African American president.
In 2001, the NASW Foundation was established to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through the advancement of social work practice. Its goals were to respond to social work policy and practice issues, respond to social crises, support practice-based research, support cutting edge continuing education that addresses critical issues (NASW, 2016). Also in 2001, the NASW Standards for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice were released. It prepared social workers to work with an increasing diverse clientele.
In the later part of the decade, the John A. Harford Foundation (JAHF) responded to the need for increasing methodical approaches in the development of social work knowledge in their annual report (JAHF, 2009). JAHF made a commitment to help focus and organize social work research in the field of gerontology. Since then, the social work profession has responded favorably by increasing the emphasis on practice knowledge, delivery of services, and policies relate to older adults and geriatric mental health (Burnette, 2005).
Medical and Clinical Advancements. A clinical advancement in geriatric depression that occurred in response to 9-11 is the ACT model of crisis intervention developed by Roberts in 2006. It is a team treatment approach designed to provide comprehensive and i...
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...ption drug benefit which made many types of medications, including antidepressants, available to millions of Americans who could not previously afford them (Oliver, Lee, & Lipton, 2004). As a result, it alleviated the stress of worrying about the high costs of prescription drugs often experienced by many older adults.
Another law that supported the wellbeing of older adults was the Mental Health Parity Act was passed in 2008 which became the first federal legislation to bring more equity to health insurance coverage on mental health care. It forced insurance companies to cover mental health in the same way they covered physical health (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, n.d.). Prior reimbursement mechanisms sometimes did not support mental health services for older adults depending whether they were in long term care or living in the community (Adamek, 2003).
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