CARE is in partnership with the Jewish Family Services of St. Paul to offer the ‘Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Lives’ (PEARLS) to rural seniors of all faiths. This program is a free, short-term counseling/life coaching evidenced-based protocol specifically designed for older adults dealing with low mood or depression. The PEARLS program was researched and developed at the University of Washington in Seattle where research discovered that ‘behavioral activation’ may be as effective as ‘cognitive behavioral therapy’ in treating depression.
Behavioral activation is based on the theory that, as individuals become depressed, they tend to engage in increasing avoidance and isolation, which maintain or worsen their symptoms. The goal of treatment is to gradually decrease a depressed individual’s avoidance and isolation and increase their engagement in activities.
PEARLS provides on-going screening for depression through a short questionnaire that measures depressive symptoms and offers eligible candidates a treatment model that teaches them tools so they may address life’s problems and make ongoing plans to engage in a variety of pleasurable, meaningful activities.
Here are a few statement from seniors who have participated in the program:
I had no idea what was to take place, so it was a surprise I share my buckets list and goals. Not knowing what was really going to take place, I am so grateful (the PEARLS coordinator) was put in my life.
I know that I’ve been very depressed for a long time, and I didn’t think anyone could help me. I was very wrong. The good Lord sent me (the PEARLS counselor) and put me in touch with (a therapist).
The depression test (the PEARLS counselor) had me do, dropped from “10” to “2”. I am so much better. I don’t know how she did it.
PEARL counselors will meet with adults 55 and older in their homes for a one-time assessment, and qualified candidates will be loaned an iPad to be used for a total of 12 sessions with their counselor.
If you are, or caretake to, a senior 55 or older experiencing low mood or depression, please contact Connie at CARE to receive additional information or set up an appointment for enrollment.