New UPMC Web Site Offers Online Resource For Older Individuals With Mental Health Problems And Their Families
PITTSBURGH, April 25, 2001 — A new web site for the Late-Life Depression Evaluation and Treatment Center at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center offers a way for older adults to connect with information about mental health problems and find help.
The site, http://www.latelifedepression.org, provides detailed information on many common geriatric mental health problems: depression, anxiety disorders, grief and insomnia. The site is maintained by a team from the Intervention Research Center for Late-Life Mood Disorders, an internationally renowned clinical research center directed by Charles F. Reynolds, III, M.D., professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
In addition to information about late-life mood disorders, the site offers links to other mental health resources on the Internet, information on referrals and opportunities to participate in research studies.
“It’s important for older adults to have a confidential source of information that’s based in their home town and accessible from their own home,” said Eric Lenze, M.D., a geriatric psychiatrist at the Late-Life Mood Disorders Center at the University of Pittsburgh’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC). “There are thousands of sites on the Internet with mental health information, but very few focus on issues for elderly individuals. Fewer still are organized and produced by geriatric specialists, like our site.”
Geriatric mental health problems such as depression are featured on individual pages within the site complete with descriptions, facts and myths, information on common treatments, and articles by staff psychiatrists.
“These disorders happen frequently in people over age 60, but they are not a normal part of aging and individuals don’t have to suffer without help,” said Dr. Reynolds. “We hope that for those people and their loved ones, this site will provide the information and motivation they need to seek treatment.”
Besides offering information for patients, the site also is designed to provide family physicians and researchers with information about the Late-Life Depression Evaluation and Treatment Center and how to refer patients.
The Late-Life Depression Evaluation and Treatment Center at WPIC was commissioned by the National Institute of Mental Health in 1995 for the study and treatment of mood disorders in late life.
For more information, please call 412-246-6006 or visit http://www.latelifedepression.org.