Depression and other mood disorders are common among older people and are often under-diagnosed. These conditions can contribute to disability and impair a person's ability to function socially. Moreover, many older people with mental health issues are not adequately treated. NewYork-Presbyterian has earned national recognition for excellence in specialized clinical care, research, and training in depression and other mood disorders in older adults.

We have specialty programs dedicated to the care of older people challenged by mental health issues, including major mood disorders, late-onset psychosis, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, substance abuse, and cognitive disorders (such as Alzheimer's disease and other memory disorders). Our team includes board-certified geriatric psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, social workers, nurses, and others with experience in the care of older individuals.

Our Approach

Depression later in life is more challenging to treat than depression in young individuals. Late-onset depression, which first becomes apparent later in life, may be related to cognitive impairment due to brain dysfunction. People with late-life depression may not respond as well to antidepressants as younger patients and may have other medical problems and take other medications that may complicate their treatment plan.

At NewYork-Presbyterian, our mental health professionals have expertise in the identification and management of late-life depression and are developing new therapies to improve the care of these patients, including treatments based on problem-solving therapy and strengthening of patients’ “reward systems” as a means of enhancing mood.

We treat mood disorders and other psychiatric illnesses in patients who may also have other medical illnesses, cognitive impairment, and disabilities. Our comprehensive services include:

  • Individual and group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Electroconvulsive therapy or medication (as needed)
  • Social support services
  • Communication and collaboration with your primary care provider and other physicians to ensure continuity of care

We work closely with our patients and their families to conduct a full assessment of each patient's symptoms. We design a customized plan of care aimed at reducing those symptoms and improving quality of life.

Inpatient and Outpatient Services

We offer supportive inpatient and outpatient medical treatment and counseling programs, intensive programs designed to rapidly reduce symptoms and increase social function, research clinics focusing on late-life depression, and care for those with memory disorders. The geriatric inpatient unit at the Westchester Behavioral Health Center is the only inpatient psychiatric service in Westchester County and New York City dedicated solely to the mental health care of older patients. With 24/7 psychiatric coverage and ongoing communication and collaboration with patients' referring doctors, we offer personalized, integrated treatment to reduce or eliminate psychiatric symptoms.

The Geriatrics Evaluation Service at Weill Cornell provides diagnostic evaluation, treatment consultation, and medication management for adults age 65 years or older, focusing on mental health issues that are unique to older adults. This includes issues related to major life changes, loss of loved ones, loss of health and mobility and retirement.

Leaders in Research

NewYork-Presbyterian leads the field in identifying the neurobiological causes of geriatric depression, evidenced by over 30 years of research support and recognition by the National Institute of Mental Health for the ongoing study of the aging brain. Nationally recognized and funded as a center of research and clinical excellence, the Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry is one of the most extensive services of its kind in the country. It has gained national recognition for excellence in specialized clinical care, research, and training in the psychiatric treatment of older adults.

The Institute offers research opportunities for evaluating novel diagnostic and treatment approaches. Our researchers and doctors have designed innovative therapies and interventions for victims of elder abuse; depressed senior center residents who do not view themselves as ill; people whose depression is linked to stroke, chronic pain, or dementia; and other groups who often fail to get the treatment they need in traditional mental health care settings.

Appointments & Referrals

Our inpatient and outpatient programs are run by highly skilled psychiatrists and psychologists with sub-specialty training in areas ranging from addiction to sleep disorders. To learn more about our inpatient services or to be admitted for inpatient treatment, please call 888-694-5700. To learn more about our outpatient services or to find a psychiatrist, please call 877-NYP-WELL.

Please note, if this is an emergency, please dial 9-1-1 or visit your local emergency department. For free and confidential support from trained mental health professionals, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or NYC Well at 888-NYC-WELL (888-692-9355).

Refer a Patient

At NewYork-Presbyterian, we treat a diverse patient population with conditions ranging from the most common to the rarest and most complex. Clinicians in private practice or at other hospitals are welcome to refer their patient to NewYork-Presbyterian. Please call 888-694-5700 to arrange a referral.

Contact Us

For more information on the comprehensive, behavioral health services we offer or to schedule a consultation, please call