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What is PEARLS?

The PEARLS for Epilepsy Program is a national, highly effective, science-based program designed to reduce depression and improve quality of life in in all-age adults with epilepsy.



How does PEARLS work?

PEARLS is a team-based approach, involving PEARLS counselors, supervising psychiatrists and medical providers. A professionally trained mental health counselor provides six to eight sessions that take place in a person with epilepsy’s home. The PEARLS Program’s in-home delivery method overcomes limitations in transportation or function that are common in adults with epilepsy. By providing “house calls” for depression, PEARLS counselors can ensure more regular contact with their clients than would often be possible in outpatient settings. This feature of PEARLS is based on evidence that home-based treatment can reduce depression among socially isolated, older or chronically ill adults.

In order to address any medical problems that may arise during a client’s PEARLS Program treatment, each PEARLS case is reviewed regularly by a team that includes a psychiatrist. The supervising psychiatrist can also address other causes of depression and, when necessary, work with the client’s primary care provider or other health care provider to begin medication treatment for depression. For individuals with major depression in particular, the initiation of antidepressant medications can be an important treatment component of the PEARLS Program.

The PEARLS program helps participants by teaching them the following skills:

  • Finding solutions
    Participants will learn to recognize symptoms of depression, understand the link between unsolved problems and depression, and use proven strategies to help solve problems.
  • Becoming active
    Participants will develop a plan to engage in social activities that connect them with others and resources in communities that can improve quality of life and mood.
  • Planning pleasant things to do
    Participants will work with a PEARLS counselor to identify and participate in activities they find enjoyable, which can help manage their depression.


Is PEARLS available where I live?

PEARLS for Epilepsy is currently available only in the Denver, Colorado area. For more information, please contact uwpearls@u.washington.edu to check on future program availability.


I am a health or mental health care provider and I am interested in PEARLS for people with epilepsy. How do I start PEARLS in my community?

The PEARLS Program is designed to be part of existing community-based programs that already deliver care and provide resources to clients. The PEARLS team conducts several in-person training sessions throughout the year in Seattle, Washington. The two-day PEARLS Training is designed to equip all members of a PEARLS team – including both counselors and administrators – to implement the PEARLS Program successfully in their organization. Please check the schedule for future PEARLS Training sessions External Link.

On-line training will soon be available. Check the PEARLS External Link website for updates.


Contact PEARLS:

4000 Mason Rd Suite #304
Seattle, WA 98195



PEARLS Together, we help create active and rewarding lives


Go to the PEARLS site






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