What is PEARLS?

Counselors use three depression management techniques: (1) problem-solving treatment, in which clients are taught to recognize depressive symptoms, define problems that may contribute to depression, and devise steps to solve these problems; (2) social and physical activity planning; and (3) planning to participate in pleasant events. Counselors encourage participants to use existing community services and attend local events.

  • Target audience: Older adults with depression
  • Health outcomes:
    • Reduce symptoms of depression
    • Improve health-related quality of life
  • Delivered by: Social worker/mental health therapist, community health worker, social work graduate students, case managers
  • Program type: Individual
  • Format: In-person at home, in-person in community, telephone or online (video conference, e.g. Zoom)
  • Length: Six to eight 50-minute sessions over the course of approximately 19 weeks
  • Training: Online or in-person; Online Master Training also available to qualifying counselors
  • Professional required: For supervision: regular clinical supervision by a psychiatrist, geriatrician, clinical social worker, psychiatric nurse practitioner, or other expert in older adult mental health, chronic conditions, and medications. Clinical supervision may be provided by more than one professional. PEARLS counselors may have a variety of education or experience backgrounds, but are usually Master’s-level students or professionals.
  • Accessibility adaptations available: Yes. The program can be delivered to persons with physical or sensory limitations, and/or with mild cognitive impairment. Organizations use existing materials for these populations and adapt as needed (e.g. provide picture reminders about action plans). The program is not appropriate for persons with significant cognitive impairment.
  • Cultural adaptations available: Yes. Organizations have adapted PEARLS for different cultural groups including persons of color, immigrants and refugees, veterans. These adaptations are largely around outreach/recruitment, who is trained to provide PEARLS, and additional programs/services. We discuss what adaptations are appropriate on our monthly technical assistance calls and are happy to connect organizations to PEARLS organizations serving different cultural groups.

Please Contact Elder Helpline 407-514-1800 for more information.

All Conversations Are Kept With The Highest Confidentiality.

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