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Peer Counseling

Please complete this brief on-line survey to share your thoughts on the mental health needs of Monterey County residents to help the Monterey County Behavioral Health Bureau develop the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Annual Update for Fiscal Year 2022-23.  The MHSA provides funding to counties for expanded mental health services and prevention programs. 

You can find the survey HERE. 

WEEKLY DISCUSSION GROUP:  IS BACK!

Good news!  Our support groups are back.  Here are the dates and times.

Support Group#1:

  • “Time to Talk”:  in-person meeting with social distancing protocols.
  • Dates/Time:  Every Thursday (2:00-3:15pm)
  • Location:  First Baptist Church of Salinas – 1130 San Vincente Avenue, Salinas, CA 93901

Support Group #2: 

  • Gratitude & Communication”: in-person meeting with social distancing protocols.
  • Dates:  2nd & 4th Thurs (3:00pm-4:45pm)
  • Location:  The Carmel Foundation (Blanchard A) – SE 8th Lincoln Ave., Carmel

COVID AND MENTAL HEALTH

Did you know that calls to the Suicide Prevention Hotline have skyrocketed during the pandemic?  Sad, but true.  The Monterey Herald recently profiled the MENTAL HEALTH crisis affecting teens, adults and seniors in our county during COVID.

  •  If you are an older adult (55 and above) and  feeling lonely, hopeless and worried during the pandemic, you are NOT ALONE!  Alliance on Aging’s Senior Peer Counseling Program can help you.
  • AOA’s counselors can provide you with tips and strategies for coping with isolation, anxiety and depression.  CLICK HERE for more info.
  • CLICK HERE to read the outstanding Monterey Herald article on mental health crisis.

COVID-19:  COPING WITH MENTAL HEALTH

The constant news cycle about COVID-19 coupled with social distancing measures can have a real impact on a person’s mental health.  A person may feel anxious or worried while listening, reading or watching the news.  It’s important during times like these to monitor your own physical and mental health.

  • Tips and strategies VIDEOS.  In partnership with Monterey County Department of Behavior Health, we created a series of videos to help you cope during this crisis.  Click here for ENGLISH.  Click here for SPANISH.

WHAT IS THE SENIOR PEER COUNSELING PROGRAM?  The peer counseling program offers confidential, no-cost counseling services to older adults in Monterey County who are experiencing some of the problems that accompany the aging process.

Senior Peer Counselors offer emotional support, guidance, and empathy to people over the age of 55 who may be facing the death of a spouse, the stress of an illness, isolation from family or friends, and other life transitions. Talking with someone of a similar age, with related life experiences and values, can help a person work through feelings – or make decisions – about the challenging issues associated with aging.

We offer:

Contact Nan Heflin, LMFT, Wellness and Mental Health Associate at 831.646.4921.

Para asistencia en español, favor de comunicarse con, Erika Olivarez, LMFT, Peer Counselor Supervisor, 831.646.5043.

SERVICES THAT WE PROVIDE: 

Individual Counseling is offered on a one-on-one basis. Sessions are available for men and women age 55-plus in English and Spanish. Clients may be seen in their home, in our office(s), in their assisted living community, or skilled nursing facility.

Support Groups are facilitated by trained volunteer peer counselors at a variety of locations throughout the county in English and Spanish. Group members discuss topics of relevance to older adults while building new friendships.

Wellness Lectures are periodically held throughout the county. Presented in both English and Spanish, guest speakers are experts in their field who present topics that promote healthy aging, enhance emotional well-being, and provide tools for stress management of chronic illnesses.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:

Do you want to work with SENIORS and help them cope with the challenges of aging?  Do you speak Spanish and/or are Bilingual?  Are you 55 years of age or older?  Do you have your own transportation or other means of transporting yourself?  Are you available 1-3 hours weekly to provide peer counseling?  If you say YES to all of the above questions, we would love to have you as a VOLUNTEER to our Senior Peer Counseling Program.  We will provide you with training and ongoing guidance.  For more information, click here for ENGLISH and here for SPANISH.

 

Additional Resources:

Alzheimer’s Association
Suicide Prevention of the Central Coast
Interim