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ASA is the essential resource to cultivate leadership, advance knowledge, and strengthen the skills of those who work with, and on behalf of, older adults.

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Mental Health and Aging Award

The Mental Health and Aging Award recognizes outstanding programs and services in mental health and aging. Nominees should be a member of both ASA and MHAN. Nominees must have made significant contributions to the mental health of older adults, including dementia care, through exemplary research, education, policy planning, advocacy or mental health services that have had demonstrable effectiveness and are inclusive of diverse and underserved populations.

The winner will be featured in the Aging in America Conference program book as well as in AgeBlog and on this page. The award is typically presented during the MHAN Program and at the opening General Session at the ASA annual conference.

Click here to submit a nomination
Deadline: October 16

2017 Mental Health and Aging Award Winner

Robert (Bob) Rawlings

Robert (Bob) Rawlings has had a passion throughout his career and in retirement to improve the lives of older adults with behavioral health disorders. He is known affectionately as the "Godfather" of mental health and aging coalitions. In 1991 he was instrumental in organizing the Oklahoma Mental Health and Aging Coalition which was the first such coalition in the nation. Later that year, representing the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors, he worked with the AARP and other national organizations to form the National Coalition on Mental Health and Aging. He served on the planning committee for the 1995 White House Mini-Conference on Mental Health and Aging and has been a delegate to several White House Conferences on Aging.
He retired from the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services after 17 years as director of the Aging Division. In that role, he worked with the public mental health system to develop specialized behavioral health services for older adults. His influence and expertise extend far beyond the state of Oklahoma and he is respected nationwide. 

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