Dementia and CMH Population: How to Recognize Dementia and What to Do

Shelly Weaverdyck, PhD, EMU Alzheimer’s Education and Research Program


Training Description:

This session will address dementia and mental illness as it occurs among persons who use CMH services.  Symptoms and the course of several types of dementia (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, Dementia with Lewy Bodies, and Frontotemporal dementia) will be described, as well as its co-occurrence with mental illness.  Misdiagnosis of dementia, the effects of brain changes in dementia on cognition, behavior, and functioning, and finally implications for intervention will be discussed.  Non-pharmacological intervention strategies that address symptoms of dementia and similar symptoms in mental illness, individualized to the person, disorder, and situation will be explored. Participants will receive relevant workshop handouts on-site in the seminar folder; after registration and prior to the date, participants will receive directions to access additional handouts on via email.


Who Should ATTEND?

Dementia and the CMH Population is for all Michigan CMHSP workers and providers who come into contact (briefly or otherwise) with persons who use CMH services.  Join us as we learn ways to recognize evidence of dementia in the people we see (e.g., ways in which Mental Illness and Dementia might look similar or different) and helpful ways to intervene. This training is appropriate for social work practice levels of beginning, intermediate and/or advanced.  

(Not approved as MDHHS Approved ACT Specific Training. ACT Teams are offered “Mental Illness and Dementia: What is Going On and How Can I Help?” as ‘MDHHS Approved ACT Specific’ on January 20, 2017 in the Bay City region.)



  1. Identify behaviors in dementia that look like behaviors in mental illness
  2. Identify common types of dementia
  3. Describe communication interventions in dementia 

The Michigan Department of Community Health, through the Michigan Association of CMH Boards, has provided funding for this initiative through the Federal Community Mental Health Block Grant.