Henry Street Settlement opens doors of opportunity for Lower East Side residents and other New Yorkers through social services, arts, and health care programs.
PEARLS (the Program to Encourage Active Rewarding Lives) is a Henry Street mental health counseling program that provides short-term talk therapy to older adults struggling with depression throughout New York City. Developed at the University of Washington and funded by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, PEARLS is a program of Henry Street’s Community Consultation Center. Two social workers, Nilda Trentacosti and Edrei Conton-Pelaez, screen 1,000 older adults annually for depression, selecting 100 for the program. Many clients do not have typical depression but rather profound sadness due to the loss of loved ones and of their mobility.
The PEARLS team takes a practical approach to engaging and motivating clients, addressing the mobility issues, health challenges, and grief that keep them from doing activities they enjoy. Over six home visits, the PEARLS social workers connect their clients to community services and help them reinstate connections with their family.