The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences has appointed Dr. Octavio N. Martinez Jr. to a 16-member national consensus committee that will study the mental health care needs of older Americans and how best to meet those needs.
The IOM convened the committee in response to a congressional mandate for a study on how to meet the mental health needs of a growing and increasingly diverse older population. The committee will seek to determine the mental and behavioral health care needs of Americans who are over 65 years of age, and will make policy recommendations for meeting those needs through a well-trained mental health workforce, especially in light of the projected doubling of the aged population by 2030.
Martinez is executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, associate vice president for the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, and a clinical professor at The University of Texas at Austin.
Before leading the Hogg Foundation, Martinez was a clinical psychiatrist at the Albemarle Mental Health Center and an associate professor at the Brody School of Medicine in North Carolina. Prior to that he was an assistant professor and psychiatrist at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Martinez is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and has a master's degree in public health from Harvard University's School of Public Health, a doctor's degree in medicine from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and master's and bachelor's degrees in business administration with a concentration in finance from The University of Texas at Austin.
The provisional committee's first meeting will be March 78 in Washington, D.C. The committee's charges include:
- Providing a systematic and trend analysis of the current and projected mental and behavioral health care needs of the target population.
- Considering the special needs of growing ethnic populations, veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and persons with chronic disease.
- Weighing the impact of improved diagnostic techniques, addressing mental health issues as part of effective chronic disease management, and the implementation of the federal mental health parity law on meeting older Americans' mental health needs.