There are many challenges that our aging adults learn to tackle, and productive aging is not only a goal but a reality for most. However, life can throw curves that can be overwhelmingly stressful, erode support systems, and threaten a seniors' perception of life meaning and purpose. These variables and other significant factors contributing to isolation, loneliness, and depression will be presented to enhance social worker's assessment skills and treatment planning with this vulnerable population
- Participants will learn the factors at play for the mental health of seniors and specifically those related to life meaning and purpose
- Participants will understand the how and why perceived life meaning and purpose is a foundational variable for mental health.
- Participants will learn strategies to successfully assess depression with seniors and establish treatment plans that will prevent the deterioration of health and mental health.
Dr. Joseph Hunter, PhD, LCSW is a highly experienced and well-educated behavioral health leader with over 16 years of combined state and federal government employment experience, primarily as a subject matter expert in the behavioral health field in the areas of substance use disorders and suicide prevention; he possess strong leadership and team building skills that have contributed to the development of numerous specialized innovations in the areas of clinical practice, research, and treatment programming; and, he is an experienced and talented educator for graduate students, as well as seasoned professionals. His education includes a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology (1989), a Masters Degree in Social Work (1993), and a Ph.D. in Social Work (2010).
In 2005, Dr. Hunter was awarded the SAMHSA Dissertation Grant to complete his study on adolescent substance use disorder treatment. In 2011, Dr. Hunter was selected for two-year post-doctoral fellowship, and as a result was recognized as a VA/Hartford Geriatric Social Work Scholar. This year, Dr. Hunter has received distinguished recognition for his innovative work in behavioral health.
Dr. Hunter serves as the VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, NY, currently on detail to the National Suicide Prevention Office. In addition, Dr. Hunter joined the University of Southern California (USC) School of Social Work as part-time adjunct lecturer in 2013. Currently, as an Adjunct Assistant Professor, he teaches Masters of Social Work (MSW) courses in the areas of: clinical practice with service members and veterans, evidence-based clinical practice in mental health settings, mental health and human development, and mental health research. He is also a New York State approved provider of online and in-person continuing education for licensed social workers in New York State, offering training privately and for the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).