Emotional Well-being

If you need immediate help, please call the Washington County Crisis Line at 503-291-9111.

Emotional well-being is an important part of maintaining a good quality of life at any age. Anxiety and depression are not a normal part of aging. Many factors can contribute to the decline of a person's mental health and well-being, and depression can look different from person to person. Some people who are depressed may not even experience feeling sad, but instead they might have trouble sleeping, lose interest in their favoriteOlder woman activities, feel anxious or irritable, experience changes in appetite, or begin using alcohol or substances to feel better.

Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives for Seniors (PEARLS) is a time-limited and participant-driven program that teaches depression management techniques to older adults and people with minor depression. The program is designed to support individuals who may not otherwise seek mental health services in a community or group setting. The program consists of in-home counseling sessions followed by a series of maintenance session contacts conducted over the telephone. Community-based depression care managers use problem-solving treatment, social and physical activity planning, and pleasant events in a series of eight 50-minute sessions over a 19-week period with three to six subsequent phone contacts.

ColumbiaCare's Senior & Disabled Outreach Program has two components: community workshops and community- and home-based assessment and linkage services for seniors and adults with disabilities. The workshops include:
  • Orientation to mental health, reaching out and immediate safety
  • Increased awareness of mental health and substance abuse issues
  • Changing attitudes and behaviors that may lead to behavioral problems
  • Developing skills in decision-making, coping with stress, problem-solving, conflict resolution, resilience and self-esteem
  • Re-establishing and maintaining positive interpersonal relationships
  • Transition planning
  • Understanding "the system" and accessing services.
Suicide risk increases with age. Older adults with depression visit the doctor and emergency room more often, incur higher outpatient charges and stay longer in the hospital. Depression is treatable. Please call the Aging and Disability Resource Connection of Oregon (ADRC) at 1-855-673-2372 to learn more about these programs.