Skip to main content

Bridging From Diagnosis to Advanced Direct Practice: The Case of Older Adults With Mental Illness Teaching Module

PowerPoint Teaching Module

This PowerPoint teaching module with teaching notes addresses mental health issues in an aging population: bridging from diagnosis to advanced direct practice in working with mental illness. It contains a case vignette, description of demographics, co-morbidity of medical and psychiatric conditions, mental illness prevalence, protective factors, perceptions, mental illness in the community, effective treatments, co-occurring diagnoses, self-awareness, ethical principles, comprehensive biopsychosocial geriatric assessment, diagnosis, anxiety disorders, overdiagnosing or misdiagnosing, and discussion of treatment choices.


The Teaching Module includes a related Syllabus: Bridging from Diagnosis to Advanced Direct Practice: The Case of Older Adults With Mental Illness (MS Word). 

Competencies Addressed in This Module:

  1. Apply concepts, theories, and research of biological, psychological, and social aging to social work assessment and intervention.
  2. Relate social work perspectives and theories to practice with older adults (e.g., person-in-environment, social justice, strengths-based perspective).
  3. Understand and direct the ways one’s own values and biases regarding aging impact professional practice and ethical work with older clients and the provision of aging mental health services.
  4. Conduct differential mental health diagnosis regarding dementia, delirium, depression, etc.. using diagnostic tools that are appropriate for use with older adults (e.g., depression scale, Mini-Mental Status Exam).