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Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives for Seniors (PEARLS)

PEARLS is a short-term, practical, client-driven program designed to reduce depression though problem-solving skills and increasing physical, social and pleasurable activities.

For information about the program or referrals, please contact:

Gloria Ramirez, PEARLS Case Navigator, (707) 525-0143 x 139 or


Older adults are at an increased risk for experiencing depression. However, depression is not a normal part of aging. The symptoms of depression can be a common human experience and depression is a treatable condition.

Depression is not just feeling “blue” or the emotions felt when grieving losses we experience throughout life. Depression can include feelings of sadness, loss of interest in once enjoyable activities, as well as other symptoms (see below).

PEARLS is an evidenced-based program designed to reduce depression in older adults. Over the course of 6-8 sessions, within 5-6 months, a PEARLS coach introduces, facilitates, and reinforces PEARLS problem solving tools to assist with managing unpleasant feelings and support planning physical, social, and pleasant activities to improve the quality of life. PEARLS short-term, practical structure supports participants in feeling more in control of challenges with PEARLS problem solving tools that can be used outside of PEARLS sessions.

PEARLS, which was devolved by the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center, is designed to be participant driven with participants identifying current challenges they would like to address and empowers participants to direct their own choices and goals.

PEARLS is no-cost for eligible participants. PEARLS sessions can be held in-home, in the COA office, out in the community, virtually, or by phone.

Coaches have completed a training through the University of Washington. PEARLS coaches are not mental health professionals and are overseen by a Clinical Supervisor.


Who is Eligible?

  • Adults 60 and up

  • Sonoma County residents

  • Adults experiencing depression symptoms

    • Minor depression, major depression, or persistent depression disorder

    • Clinical diagnosis not required

    • See list of depression symptoms below

  • Eligibility screening with PEARLS coach to assess depression symptoms and appropriateness for the program is required.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Depression?

  • Little interest or pleasure in doing things.

  • Feeling down, sad, or hopeless.

  • Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping too much.

  • Feeling tired or having little energy.

  • Poor appetite or overeating.

  • Feeling bad about oneself, or that one is a failure or have let oneself or one’s family down.

  • Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television.

  • Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed. Or the opposite, being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual.

  • Thoughts that one would be better off dead, of harming oneself in some way or suicide attempts.


To view our flyer, please click here. If you are a community partner, please see our brief program overview here.

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