SSRI awarded $1.2 million for mental health project

Social Science Research Institute enhances services for older adults with mental illnesses

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Michael Wylie, (808) 539-3941
Social Science Research Institute
Posted: Nov 8, 2005

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) has been awarded a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to fund enhanced mental health services for older adults with mental health illnesses. The grant was awarded by the department's Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration for a project developed by SSRI in cooperation with the Hawaiʻi Department of Health's Adult Mental Health Division and local agencies specializing in services to older adults. The grant will be allocated in increments of $400,000 over three years.

The intent of the funded project, Improving Mental Health Services for Older Adults in Hawaiʻi, is to increase and evaluate the capacity of the State of Hawaiʻi to provide specialized and enhanced mental health and social services to people over the age of 60, who have a serious mental illness.

"Mental health is a serious issue for many of our seniors," said Michael Wylie, associate professor with the Social Science Research Institute. "This project will reach out to those seniors in our community to provide them with treatment as well as prevention services. Our intent is to develop a comprehensive statewide effort to establish cooperation between the traditional mental health agencies and other older adult service networks.

"Historically, both systems have operated independently leading to gaps in both mental health and other social services provided to seniors with mental illnesses. It has also led to the neglect of the mental health needs of older adults who are experiencing unidentified and undiagnosed mental illnesses."

In its initial phase, the project will involve the development and delivery of direct care, primarily on Maui, and will be followed by statewide implementation.

The Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) facilitates and supports interdisciplinary, applied research that addresses critical, social, environmental, and economic problems primarily in Hawai‘i and the Asia Pacific region. This is done through collaboration with faculty and students throughout the University of Hawai‘i and with other educational and research institutions, regional and international organizations, the private sector, and federal, state, and county agencies. It is supported largely by contracts and grants from public agencies and private organizations. For more information, visit

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