Older Adults Track

Mental Health Institute for Washington State Providers


The Institute of Medicine reported in 2012 that as many as 8 million people aged 60 and over had at least one mental or substance abuse condition and projected that number to rise to 14 million by 2030.1 COVID-19  highlighted an increase in rates of anxiety and depression amongst older adults, exacerbated by lack of access to mental health providers knowledgeable about mental health needs, services, and treatments for older adults.2,3,4 This training institute seeks to prepare the mental health workforce to address the unique needs of older adults.


  • Increase knowledge and skills in treating mental health conditions in older adults, as well as provider capacity and confidence in serving this population
  • Provide high quality training in common elements of evidence-based practices found to be effective in meeting the mental health needs of older adults, and provide supported skill acquisition in specific interventions, including Problem Solving Treatment, PEARLS, and Behavioral Activation
  • Include voices of lived experience from individuals experiencing mental health conditions in late life and peers providing evidence-based support to older adults, with amplification of voices from historically underserved communities


All times in Pacific Time (PT)

Monday, June 3rd

Aging and Working with Older Adults: An Introduction

9:30 – 11:30 AM

Brenna Renn, PhD Brittany Mosser, MSW, LICSW

Monday, June 10

Psychopathology in Older Adults

1:30 – 4:30 PM

Lelani Feliciano, PhD ; Patrick Raue, PhD

Friday, June 14th

Best Practices for Providing Counseling/Psychosocial Interventions to Older Adults

9:30 – 11:30 AM

Brenna Renn, PhD ; Patrick Raue, PhD

Thursday , June 27th

Mental Health Assessments with Older Adults

9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Alice Redfern, MSW, LICSW 

Monday, July 15th

Engaging Older Adults in Mental Health Care

9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Brenna Renn, PhD ; Patrick Raue, PhD

Thursday, July 25th

Suicide Prevention in Late Life

9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Sarah Spafford, PhD, MSuicidology; Emily Bower, PhD

Monday, July 29th

Use of Evidence-Based Practices in Serving Older Adults: Behavioral Activation

9:30 AM – 1:30 PM

Patrick Raue, PhD

Thursday , August 8th

Dementia Caregiver Support and Care Planning

9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Janelle Jensen, LMFT

Thursday, September 5th

Thursday, September 12th

Dementia and Cognitive Changes in Late Life

9:00 – 11:00 AM

Kris Rhoads, PhD

Thursday, September 26th

Use of Evidence-Based Practices in Serving Older Adults: PEARLS

11:30 AM – 2:30 PM

Lesley Steinman, MSW, PhD ; Susan Jay Rounds


Patrick J. Raue, PhD

Patrick J. Raue, PhD is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook in 1995. Dr. Raue conducts NIMH-supported research on training non-specialists in behavioral interventions; patient preferences and shared decision-making approaches for depression; and the effectiveness of psychotherapy for older adults. Dr. Raue is Associate Director for Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions at the AIMS Center, and Director of the National Network of PST Clinicians, Trainers & Researchers. In these roles, he develops and leads implementation and training programs in a variety of behavioral health interventions. Dr. Raue’s clinical expertise includes the identification and management of mental health conditions in community and medical settings, including primary care and home health care.


Brittany Mosser, MSW, LICSW

Brittany Mosser, MSW, LICSW is a clinical social worker with extensive experience working with older adults and their families, including those impacted by Alzheimer’s, medically complex older adults, and residents in sub-acute health care settings. Brittany is an expert in the delivery of evidence-based psychosocial treatments with older adults and caregivers, and has trained and supervised mental health providers in numerous EBPIs. In her current role, Brittany manages a broad range of research studies at the University of Washington focusing on delivery and implementation of EBPIs, digital mental health, and large-scale remote research. She earned her BA from Middlebury College and MSW from the University of Maryland. Brittany is interested in improving access to evidence-based treatments through increased training opportunities, engaging a variety of treatment providers, modified treatments, and digital health applications.

Leilani Feliciano, PhD


Leilani Feliciano, Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS). Dr. Feliciano has spent the past 20+ years working in interdisciplinary academic-community environments conducting applied research. Her research interests broadly target mental health and aging and underserved populations. Dr. Feliciano’s work relates to the intersection between health (e.g., diabetes, insomnia) and mental health concerns (e.g., depression, cognitive impairment). Her long-standing program of research has addressed depressive disorders, behavioral interventions, and the screening and assessment of cognitive impairment, sleep disorders, among others. This research involves an exploration of how psychological, behavioral and environmental factors may contribute to the development and management of physical and mental health conditions associated with aging. Dr. Feliciano is currently serving as the Director of Clinical Training at UCCS, has a history of federal funding for both research and the clinical training of doctoral students (HRSA GPE), and serves on the editorial board for several journals within the fields of aging, clinical psychology, and behavior analysis. 


Upper body shot of Brenna Renn

Brenna Renn, PhD

Brenna Renn, PhD (she/her) is a clinical geropsychologist (a psychologist who specializes in older adulthood), an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and an affiliate researcher with the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on improving access to and utilization of mental health care, particularly in the context of depression, cognitive impairment, and chronic disease. She is core faculty in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at UNLV, where she teaches foundational courses, provides clinical supervision, and mentors PhD students as director of the UNLV TREATment lab. Dr. Renn earned her PhD in clinical psychology with an emphasis in geropsychology at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, completed her psychology internship in geriatric mental health and health psychology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in geriatric mental health services research at the University of Washington. She is passionate about equipping mental health care providers to work with older adults and in interprofessional team and integrated care settings. As such, she serves as an interprofessional education consultant on a HRSA Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program grant and co-leads a university-wide annual training in interprofessional education and practice for graduate students across nine healthcare disciplines at UNLV.

Sarah Spafford, PhD, MSuicidology

Sarah Spafford, PhD, MSuicidology is a Research Associate in the Suicide Prevention Lab. Dr. Spafford completed her doctorate in Prevention Science at the University of Oregon and her Masters in Suicidology through Griffith University’s Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention. Her research has focused on suicide prevention and mental wellbeing across the lifespan. As a suicidologist, she has expertise in suicide prevention training, evaluation, and organizational and statewide policy development. Her scholarship is centered on the continuum of care for individuals experiencing suicidal thoughts, support for care providers of suicidal individuals, and older adult suicide. Additionally, she has experience in implementation science, evidence synthesis, and curriculum development for suicide prevention courses.

Emily Bower, PhD

Dr. Emily Bower is an Assistant Professor for the PhD Clinical Psychology Program. She received her PhD from the SDSU/UC San Diego Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Bower’s research and clinical interests are in geriatric mental health with specializations in late-life suicide prevention and the assessment and treatment of anxiety, including fear of falling. The overarching goal of her research is to examine how we adjust to functional changes (cognitive, physical, social) as we age and to leverage that information to develop or adapt behavioral interventions to promote mental health and prevent suicide among older adults. She is the principal investigator for the Behavioral Health and Aging Research Lab at Pacific University. 

Janelle Jensen, MS, LMFT

Janelle has been working in the aging and mental health field for over 15 years.  Currently working in private practice as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with mostly older adults and families who provide care for a loved one living with dementia and related conditions, contracts with local skilled nursing facilities to provide mental health services, and past work experiences include care manager in private care management, family caregiver support with the Alzheimer’s Association, and social worker in a skilled nursing facility. Janelle received her bachelor’s degree in Social Work and master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.  Janelle manages an online support site, careclub.care writing weekly blog posts focused on supporting family caregivers and supports the Edmonds Waterfront Center as a business member where she also volunteers with active older adults.


Kristoffer W. Rhoads PhD

Kristoffer Rhoads, PhD, is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. He currently serves as the primary neuropsychologist for the UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center. Dr. Rhoads works with patients and their families long after diagnosis, helping them to live well during big life change by developing new social, physical, and creative or healthy habits, such as mindfulness meditation, with consideration the unique needs of each individual he sees. Dr. Rhoads is co-leader of the Memory and Brain Wellness Center Clinic’s Project ECHO Dementia (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) program. Hosted at the Memory Hub, Project ECHO Dementia is a learning model in which front-line care providers from around WA State meet in a web-based virtual conference room with an interdisciplinary panel of experts in memory loss and dementia. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, and was appointed as Chair of the Health/Medical Care Subcommittee for the Washington State Working Group to develop and implement the WA State Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition, he is the Chair of the Bree Collaborative Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias Workgroup.


Lesley Steinman, PhD, MSW, MPH

Lesley Steinman, PhD, MSW, MPH (she/her) is a Research Scientist at the Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC), a CDC-funded Prevention Research Center at the University of Washington School of Public Health. She partners with evidence-based health promotion program participants, providers, administrators, and policymakers to understand, adapt, and improve program delivery to address disparities in access to care and health outcomes among underserved older adults. For 20 years, she and her HPRC team have provided training, technical assistance, research and evaluation of the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS), a home and community-based collaborative care model for late-life depression. Her other passion is spending time outdoors with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  

Susan Jay Rounds, MSW, CASW

Susan Jay Rounds, MSW, CASW, has been a behavioral health specialist with Senior and Disability Services, an Area Agency on Aging, at the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, for nine years, providing five different community-based behavioral health programs. Susan is the lead designer of the program Options for People to Address Loneliness (OPAL), a Trainer for the Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Lives (PEARLS), and is certified in the Star C-Caregiver and Buried in Treasures programs. These programs work with older adults and people with disabilities to reduce a sense of loneliness and isolation, depression, the stress from caregiving for an individual with Alzheimer’s and the impacts from the lived experience and behaviors of hoarding. Susan has also co-facilitated several chronic disease self-management programs and has worked with families caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke, along with individuals with Alzheimer’s in memory care. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work, and an Oregon Clinical Social Work Associate’s license.

1 Institute of Medicine. 2012. The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands? Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24851291/

2 Kaiser Family Foundation. One in Four Older Adults Report Anxiety or Depression Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. Wyatt Koma, Sarah True, Jeannie Fuglesten Biniek, Juliette Cubanski, Kendal Orgera, and Rachel Garfield. Oct. 9, 2020. Found on the internet at https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/one-in-four-older-adults-report-anxiety-or-depression-amid-the-covid-19-pandemic/

3 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. 2020 Sep (Report No. PEP20–07-01-001). Found on the internet at https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/reports/rpt29393/2019NSDUHFFRPDFWHTML/2019NSDUHFFR1PDFW090120.pdf

4 The Mental Health and Substance Use Workforce for Older Adults: In Whose Hands? Jill Eden, Katie Maslow, Mai Le, and Dan Blazer, Editors; Committee on the Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations; Board on Health Care Services; Institute of Medicine. National Academies of Science, 2012. Found on the internet at https://www.aagponline.org/clientuploads/IOM%20July%202012%20Report%20Full.pdf

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