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Program to Encourage Active and Rewarding Lives (PEARLS)

• For service professionals, you can refer a client to the program by downloading, printing and faxing PEARLS Referral Form Rev 10272020 to Tara Burns at (651) 560-5330, or you can click here to complete and submit a referral form online.

• For people who are interested in using these services for themselves or someone they love, click here to complete and submit your referral form online.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, please call 911.

PEARLS is a free program through Jewish Family Service of St. Paul that supports adults 55+ who are suffering from low mood or depression. It is partially funded by MAAA and LiveWell grants.

Contact Tara Burns, PEARLS Counselor (763) 300-3146.

“Please continue to offer this program for those who need it. Continue to work with doctors and clinics in making PEARLS available to patients who would benefit greatly from it.”

This program was researched and developed at the University of Washington in Seattle. The research indicates that increasing pleasurable activities may be as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy in treating depression. As people become depressed, they tend to engage in increasing avoidance and isolation, which maintains or worsens their symptoms. The goal of PEARLS treatment is to gradually decrease depressed individual’s avoidance and isolation and increase their engagement in activities.

The skills and tools offered in the program help participants address life’s problems and make ongoing plans to engage in a variety of pleasurable, meaningful activities.

PEARLS counselors meet with older adults in their homes to provide eight FREE one-on-one support sessions over the course of five months. After the sessions are complete, counselors offer monthly follow up phone call sessions for an additional four months.

The counselors maintain contact with the client’s primary care doctor throughout the sessions to report on their client’s progress and any further recommendations for care.

When needed, referrals are made for PEARLS clients to help them be successful in addressing their depression and reaching goals that support their well-being. For example, referrals are made for psychotherapists, psychiatrists, support groups, local senior centers, friendly visitor volunteers, etc.

Supported, in part, by a Live Well at Home grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.


PEARLS for Caregivers

Contact Tara Burns, PEARLS Counselor (763) 300-3146.

“The best part for me was receiving quality counseling in my home. I care for my mother who is home bound. If it wasn’t for this program, I wouldn’t have been able to receive the counseling and support I needed to help me through my depression.”

It is important to take time to care for yourself, so you can be well enough to take the best care of your loved one. The demanding and unfamiliar role of caregiver can take an incredible toll, often without the caregiver even realizing. It is not unusual for caregivers to develop mild or more serious depression as a result of the continual demands they face while providing care. In fact, between 40 to 70% of caregivers have clinically significant symptoms of depression.

Are you a caregiver who could benefit from short-term counseling? PEARLS for Caregivers is a short-term counseling and life coaching program specifically designed for people dealing with low mood or depression. It uses a well-researched, structured, home-based approach that has been proven to reduce symptoms of depression.

Counselors meet with caregivers in their homes to provide eight FREE one-on-one support sessions over five months. After these are complete, monthly follow up phone call sessions are available for an additional four months.

For caregivers who prefer or live outside of our St. Paul metro service area, tele-counseling may be an option. FREE counseling sessions can be video streamed from any location. For those who do not have a computer or the internet, this program can provide those tools.

The counseling offered in this program helps caregivers focus on their own mental health while coping with the difficult challenges inherent in care-giving.

When needed, our counselors can make referrals to help caregivers be successful in addressing their depression and reaching goals that support their mental health. For example, referrals are made for psychotherapists, psychiatrists, grief support groups, caregiver support groups, friendly visitor volunteers, etc.

This program is funded under contract with the Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging as part of the Older Americans Act Program, and supported, in part, by a Live Well at Home grant from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.