Gatekeeper Program

Healthy IDEAS

Sheltering Arms Senior Services now offers its case management clients Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors), an innovative approach to attacking depression in older adults.

Healthy IDEAS is an evidence-based intervention that ensures older adults get the help they need to manage symptoms of depression and live full lives.

All at-risk case management clients are given a depression screening by their case manager, preventive educational information, and if appropriate, referral to healthcare professionals and behavioral activation therapy.

Healthy IDEAS improves quality of life by:

  • Screening for symptoms of depression and assessing their severity
  • Educating older adults and caregivers about depression
  • Linking older adults to primary care and mental health providers
  • Empowering older adults to manage their depression through a behavioral activation approach that encourages involvement in meaningful activities

Healthy IDEAS has proven effective in:

  • Reducing clients' symptoms of depression
  • Decreasing levels of pain
  • Empowering older adults to set and achieve personal goals

Behavioral Activation Therapy Is A Key Component:

Older adults who screen positive for depression are given Behavioral Activation Therapy to improve their depressive symptoms. Their case manager helps them determine activities that would improve their mood, brainstorms ways to overcome barriers to completing those activities, and provides follow-up and encouragement.

Healthy IDEAS initiative in Harris County is a partnership of:

  • Care for Elders
  • Area Agency on Aging 
  • Baylor College of Medicine-Huffington Center on Aging  
  • Houston Center for Quality Care and Utilization Studies
  • Sheltering Arms Senior Services
  • Catholic Charities SAFE (Services to the Alone and Frail Elderly)
  • Harris County Social Services
  • Local Health Care & Mental Health Care Providers

    As published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology.