[Podcast] Older Adults: Unseen. Untreated. Misdiagnosed.

May 17, 2021
Posted in:

Brett Saarela’s personal and professional experience led her to find her passion in helping older adults with mental health and addiction issues.  She is a licensed clinical social worker in New York and has devoted her time and efforts to ensuring the older population is seen and treated properly.  Brett is the Vice President of the SMART Recovery Board of Directors and serves on the SMART International Board of Directors. 

In this podcast, Brett talks about:

  • Why the word geriatrics is a challenging term
  • Her heart and passion is working with older adults
  • Her personal and family history of mental health and substance use
  • Discovering SMART Recovery and ultimately changing careers
  • Modifying SMART tools for each client
  • Barriers to detection among the geriatric population
  • Motivational interviewing being a cornerstone of SMART
  • Guidance for family and friends whose older loved ones have a substance use problem
  • Goals for SMART for helping older adults
  • Future of mental health and addiction services for older adults

Additional resources:

Click here to find all of SMART Recovery’s podcasts


SMART Recovery welcomes comments on our blog posts—we enjoy hearing from you! In the interest of maintaining a respectful and safe community atmosphere, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines when making or responding to others’ comments, regardless of your point of view. Thank you.

  • Be kind in tone and intent.
  • Be respectful in how you respond to opinions that are different than your own.
  • Be brief and limit your comment to a maximum of 500 words.
  • Be careful not to mention specific drug names.
  • Be succinct in your descriptions, graphic details are not necessary.
  • Be focused on the content of the blog post itself.

If you are interested in addiction recovery support, we encourage you to visit the SMART Recovery website.


If you or someone you love is in great distress and considering self-harm, please call 911 for immediate help, or reach out to The National Suicide Prevention Hotline @ 800-273-8255, https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

We look forward to you joining the conversation!

*SMART Recovery reserves the right to not publish comments we consider outside our guidelines.*

Subscribe To Our Blog

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from the SMART Recovery Blog.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Copyright © 2024 Recovery Alliance Initiative
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram