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Healthy ABCs

Asian women

Healthy ABCs is a project that trains older adult volunteers to provide information to other older adults in group settings. Topics include mental health, substance abuse, suicide prevention, depression, advocacy skills and local, state and national resources pertaining to the mental health and substance abuse treatment of older adults.. These volunteers will go to local senior centers, churches, high rises and other places where seniors gather to train/education other older adults in a group settings.


The goal of the program is to provide basic training so they become educated regarding the normal issues of aging, behavioral health issues in older adults, how medical issues and behavioral health issues are intertwined, and how to use available resources in their community. In addition, older adult volunteers and participants will gain a better understanding of basic advocacy skills and public policy issues that affect older adults.
The Healthy ABCs volunteers will then be a better prepared and educated group of older adults who have the necessary skills to advocate on their behalf and on behalf of other peers and family members. These skills will allow them to be a part of a growing and diverse population of older adults in the State of Pennsylvania.

Training Content

The training consists of these modules:
  • The Mental Health System, Structure and Service Delivery
  • The Aging System, Structure and Service Delivery
  • Late Life Depression, Warning Signs and Symptoms
  • Abuse and Misuse of Drugs, Alcohol and Other Substances
  • Older Adults, Suicide, and Suicide Prevention
  • Basic Advocacy Skills 101
  • Local, State and National Resources Available for Older Adults


Approximately eight to twelve older adult volunteers will be identified for each region of the state, which includes the Northeast, Northwest, Central, Southeast and Southwest. These identified volunteers will each choose three training locations in their region to target their training efforts. Completion of these trainings will be within three months of receiving their training completion certificate.

Contact the Coalition (info@olderpa.org) for more information.

 3544 North Progress Avenue, Suite 107 |  Harrisburg, PA 17110  |  717-857-3163Click here to go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website

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