Helping America's most vulnerable™

Senior Mental Health

Dignity and hope for the individual

Senior Mental Health provides a range of high quality, age-specific, mental health therapy services for individuals 55 and older.  Our services are geared towards assisting individuals navigate any number of life’s challenges and are committed to strengthening our participants’ ability to live life to its fullest extent.


main Office Location

Vona Center for
Mental Health
9220 Bass Lake Road
Suite 255
New Hope, MN 55428

Office Hours

Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.
For services, call us during regular hours at 763-225-4054


Seniors, age 55 and older


We accept Medicare, Medical Assistance, most major health insurance plans, and private pays.

Service locations

  • Vona Center for Mental Health, 9220 Bass Lake Road Suite 255, New Hope, MN 55428
  • Coon Rapids Senior Center, 11155 Robinson Drive, Coon Rapids, MN 55433
  • Park ElderCenter, 1505 Park Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404

How we help

Our licensed mental health therapists have dual competency in mental health and older adult concerns, while taking our time to center services on the unique needs of each individual participant. Program therapists' can address many different presenting issues including:

  • Stress (including grandparenting & caregiving stress)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship Difficulties
  • Bipolar Mood Disorder
  • Grief & Loss
  • Loneliness/Isolation
  • Adjustment to Life Transitions
  • High-Risk, Self-Sabotaging Behaviors
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Frequent Hospitalization
  • over 80%

    of older adults recovered from depression after psychotherapy and medication treatment

Service descriptions

  • Comprehensive Diagnostic Assessment (all locations)
    This is an in-depth examination that precedes all clinical services that is conducted by a mental health professional or mental health practitioner who is being supervised by a mental health professional. The purpose of this meeting is to understand an individual’s current life situation, summary of personal life story, sources of stress, current functioning, current mental health symptoms/ diagnoses, and history of mental health or chemical health problems. Preliminary screening can also be completed for cognitive impairment with recommendations for appropriate follow up testing if necessary. Based on identified strengths and goals, the program therapist will summarize the findings and provide options for treatment, which may include recommending one or more of the program services below.
  • Individual Psychotherapy (all locations)
    This is one-on-one “talk therapy” between participant and program therapist. Work within individual therapy is based on goals identified by the participant and program therapist and are geared towards promoting an individual’s emotional well-being & stability.
  • Family Psychotherapy (all locations)
    This is “talk therapy” between participant, program therapist, and one or more members of the participant’s family (ie. spouse, children, or grandchildren). Work within family therapy can be in conjunction with work in individual therapy and is based on identified goals to strengthen healthy family interactions and the emotional well-being of all present.
  • Psychiatric Evaluation and Medication Management for program clients only (New Hope location)
    This is an evaluation completed by a board certified psychiatrist who has additional competencies in geriatric psychiatry, psychopharmacology, and addition psychiatry. During this evaluation program psychiatrist will assess a participant’s current mental health symptoms, history of mental health or chemical health symptoms, current functioning, mental status, and provide treatment recommendations. These recommendations may include recommendations for psychiatric medications and program psychiatrist can provide ongoing monitoring through medication management services. Psychiatry services are only available to individuals who are participating in other VOA, MN Senior Mental Health Services and requires that a comprehensive diagnostic assessment be completed by a program therapist first before a psychiatry appointment can be made.
  • Community Education
    Presentations to general public, older adult communities, and service providers on mental health issues related to older adults are available at request.

Senior Mental Health staff

  • Katie Perzel

    MSW, LICSW, Director of Senior Mental Health Services

    Katie is a licensed mental health professional and has worked with older adults as a Mental Health Therapist since 2005, providing Senior Day Treatment services, group mental health therapy, individual mental health therapy, and family mental health therapy. Areas of interest include addressing issues with mood instability, grief & loss, caregiver stress, trauma recovery, and adjusting to life transitions. Katie also gives educational presentations to older adult communities and to professionals on various topics related to mental health and seniors.

  • Jennifer Nuehring


    Jennifer provides individual and family mental health therapy to adults, older adults and their care givers. Her approach draws from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and the Solution Focused Model with a specific focus on developing rapport and building a trusting relationship. She has worked with children and families with disabilities, older adults with disabilities in a group home setting, and as a case manager working with older adults. She is interested in working with clients of various diagnoses including: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD (specifically the veteran population) and has worked for a total of 10 years in the social service field.

  • Joan Stauffer

    MSW, LICSW, CSW-G, Mental Health Professional

    Joan is a licensed mental health professional with a specialty certification as a Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Joan has worked with older adults as a Mental Health Therapist since 2008 providing individual mental health therapy, group mental health therapy, and Senior Day Treatment services. In addition, Joan has worked as the coordinator of the Senior Suicide Prevention Grant providing senior specific mental health trainings to seniors and senior service providers. Areas of interest include grief & age-related loss, anxiety symptoms, chronic mood symptoms, co-occurring illnesses, trauma recovery & resilience, and crises intervention.

  • John Simon

    MD, Program Psychiatrist

    Dr. Simon is a board certified psychiatrist who has additional competencies in geriatric psychiatry, psychopharmacology, and addiction psychiatry. He has 30 years of experience in providing both inpatient and outpatient psychiatry services. He graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical School, and completed his Internship and Residency at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Simon is the president of Creative psychopharmacology.

Contact us for more information
Phone: 763-225-4054
Fax: 1-888-965-5130