Montclair, NJ -- Mountainside Medical Center has established a 24/7 Senior Intervention Helpline to address the behavioral health concerns of area residents age 65 and older.  Seniors in distress, along with authorized caregivers for the elderly who aren’t sure where to turn for help, are urged to call (973) 429-6073 whenever assistance from the hospital’s team of specially trained geriatric mental health professionals is needed. 

One in four Americans over age 65 will experience a mental health problem, according to the American Psychological Association. In fact, a broad spectrum of lifestyle and physiological changes including the transition into retirement; the death of loved ones; loss of independence; serious, chronic medical conditions; and medication interactions or side effects can trigger or exacerbate depression, anxiety, alcohol or drug abuse, dementia and other behavioral issues.

“The Mountainside Integrative Geriatric Services program is dedicated exclusively to ensuring that the complex mental health needs of seniors in our community aren’t overlooked, underserved or misdiagnosed,” said Dr. Juan Riestra, Medical Director of the Behavioral Health Department at Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center, who is board-certified in both Adult and Geriatric Psychiatry.  “We take life circumstances and physical changes that are unique to senior citizens into account when diagnosing and treating their behavioral concerns.”

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“Although mental illness has been increasingly destigmatized in recent years, seniors who came of age in a different era are often reluctant to reach out for help,” he said. “Our Senior Intervention Helpline simplifies that process by providing immediate, around-the-clock access to compassionate, community-based geriatric mental health specialists with a single phone call.”

Comprehensive Resources

Mountainside Medical Center first recognized and began responding to an emerging local need for elder care within the field of behavioral health more than a quarter century ago and it has a successful history as a geriatric mental health provider.  Its comprehensive resources include an inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry Unit, as well as partial hospitalization and outpatient programs designed exclusively for seniors.  For further information, call the Senior Intervention Helpline at (973) 429-6073.

About Hackensack Meridian Health Mountainside Medical Center

Mountainside Medical Center has been serving Montclair and its surrounding New Jersey communities since 1891. The hospital provides patients immediate access to innovative and effective treatment alternatives at specialized centers within the hospital that focus on imaging, women’s health, cancer care, surgery, obesity, stroke and chronic kidney disease. Mountainside Medical Center is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by the NJ State Department of Health and Senior Services and is one of only a few community hospitals licensed by the State to perform emergency cardiac angioplasty. To learn more about Mountainside Medical Center visit