DFTA Geriatric Mental Health Initiative Wins National Achievement Award

DFTA Commissioner Donna Corrado and Deputy Commissioner Caryn Resnick at the n4a awards
DFTA Commissioner Donna Corrado and Deputy Commissioner Caryn Resnick at the n4a awards
NEW YORK, NY (Aug. 1, 2018) – The New York City Department for the Aging’s Geriatric Mental Health (DGMH) counseling program was honored with an Aging Achievement Award from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) during n4a’s annual conference and tradeshow that ended this week in Chicago.

To improve seniors’ mental health, DGMH embeds mental health clinicians where seniors are most comfortable: in existing senior centers that are known to the community. DGMH is available in 25 centers across the five boroughs. On-site mental health services include individual, group, family, and couples counseling. Medication management and engagement activities are also available as well as clinical services in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, and Spanish.

“There are many barriers that prevent older adults from seeking, accessing, and utilizing mental health services,” said DFTA Commissioner Donna Corrado. “DGMH’s on-site model eliminates many of those obstacles and the stigma that surrounds mental health by offering comprehensive services at community-based senior centers.”

DGMH is part of ThriveNYC, New York City's unprecedented commitment to create a mental health system that works for everyone.

“By bringing mental health services directly to senior centers, DFTA is helping us break down barriers to treatment and combat stigma,” said ThriveNYC Executive Director Alexis Confer. “This well-deserved recognition of the DGMH program shows that New York City is leading the way in connecting vulnerable populations to mental health care.”

“With the health care landscape changing at a rapid pace, our members continue to meet the needs of America’s rapidly growing older adult population by finding new ways to position themselves in the long-term and health care marketplaces while strengthening the services they already offer,” said n4a Chief Executive Officer Sandy Markwood. “Our members work tirelessly, with little fanfare in their communities, and this program enables us to shine a well-deserved spotlight on their critical work to support older adults’ health, safety, independence and dignity.”

The 2018 n4a Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards honored member area aging agencies that excelled in advocacy, caregiving, diversity and cultural competency, elder abuse prevention, nutrition, technology, transportation, workforce development, agency operations, or other fields. All winners are showcased in an n4a publication.


The New York City Department for the Aging works to eliminate ageism and ensure the dignity and quality of life of New York City’s diverse 1.6 million older adults. DFTA also works to support caregivers through service, advocacy, and education. DFTA is the largest area agency on aging in the U.S.

Media contact:
Zenovia Earle