How the PEARLS Program Helps Veterans, Spouses, and Spouse Survivors Eliminate Depression
The City of Seattle Aging and Disability Services mission is to develop a community that promotes quality of life, independence and choice for older people and adults with disabilities in King County. Aging and Disability Services promotes evidence-based programs in the Seattle-King County area.
Supporting Veterans, Spouses, and Spouse Survivors
The Aging and Disability Services Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives (PEARLS) is an evidenced-based treatment program for older adults with disabilities who also have minor depression, which is recognized by the Administration on Community Living as meeting the highest criteria. PEARLS received funding from the King County Veterans and Human Services Levy.
The PEARLS program provides no-cost, in-home, depression counseling for prior military (including their spouses/spouse survivors) over 55 years old in King County. This program is an outgrowth of a five-year research project conducted in collaboration with the University of Washington’s Health Promotion Research Center (HPRC).
The research study showed PEARLS home-based depression management counseling significantly reduced depression symptoms and improved health status in chronically medically ill older adults with minor depression.
PEARLS participants are three times more likely than non-participants to significantly reduce or completely eliminate their depression. PEARLS helps improve mental health by identifying problems and working toward solutions. PEARLS counseling may be provided in addition to other veteran and non-veteran services. Here are the eligibility requirements:
- Feeling down, sad, or hopeless more than half the days
- Little interest or pleasure in doing things more than half the days
- Age 55 or older
- Veteran, military spouse, or spouse survivor
- Not functionally impaired by schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder, manic depressive disorder, cognitive impairment, or current substance or alcohol abuse
The WAServes network is proud to have the City of Seattle Aging and Disability Services and its PEARL program as a vital resource to reduce or eliminate depression for its clients.
If you are a Veteran, Spouse, or Spouse Survivor and need assistance from PEARLS in the WAServes network, click here.
The Program to Encourage Rewarding Active Lives: A Digital Story by Paul Snow, Aging and Disability Services, September 2012.
The Program to Encourage Rewarding Active Lives by Lori Sanford, Aging and Disability Services, February 2013.
Additional PEARL Resources
- Translating PEARLS: lessons learned from providers and participants (Frontiers in Public Health, April 27, 2015)
- Veterans Benefits and Support Services Can Change Your Life (AgeWise King County, November 2014)
- King County Veterans and Human Services Levy Makes a Difference (AgeWise King County, November 2014)
- Project Summary A brief summary of program design and results
- PEARLS website (managed by the Center for Healthcare Improvement for Addictions, Mental Illness, and Medically Vulnerable Populations (CHAMMP))
- Video testimonials about the effectiveness of PEARLS training for counselors and other professionals.
- VA Caregiver Support: The Veterans Administration offers this website for caregivers of veterans of all ages, along with a toll-free support line: 1-855-260-3274.