Keiro and Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) have announced the continuation of their partnership initiative to expand and enhance support to the community’s older adults, with a focus on mental health.

The three-year partnership will invest over $1.2 million to provide a more comprehensive, integrated approach to deliver better quality care for those in need of mental health services.

LTSC is one of the few organizations able to address the mental health needs of Japanese-speaking older adults in Southern California. Funding will provide both quality counseling services and case management to low-income Japanese older adults facing conditions such as clinical depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and managing significant life changes.

Currently, many community-based mental health providers are funded on the traditional fee-for-service reimbursement model, which compensates for distinct, strictly defined units of service. This model does not always prioritize the range of care and services needed to best support older adults living with mental health issues.

This partnership shifts to a value-based funding model, which focuses on the overall management of the mental health and well-being of older adults as well as the quality of care provided. This model incentivizes collaboration, a whole-person approach, and integrated services to address the unique needs of each individual client.

“The mental health crisis among people of all ages has come to the forefront in recent years, but the stigma for older adults especially still remains. We are grateful to once again partner with the Little Tokyo Service Center to address this pressing issue,” said Gene S. Kanamori, president and CEO of Keiro.

“We are so grateful for Keiro’s forward-thinking and values-based approach to addressing mental health needs among our Japanese older adult clients,” said Erich Nakano, executive director of LTSC. “Bilingual and culturally competent case managers, therapists, and psychiatrists are especially important to effectively overcoming stigma and addressing mental health needs among Nikkei and Japanese-speaking older adults. This partnership enables us to really expand such urgent services.”

The initial partnership initiative began back in 2017. The partnership, in addition to the mental health initiative, will continue to also supplement LTSC’s client assistance programs, which provide temporary aid to older adults, without other resources, to help them overcome emergency financial predicaments.

For more information on these initiatives, visit www.keiro.org or www.ltsc.org.

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