Initially developed by Baylor College of Medicine, Healthy IDEAS (Identifying Depression, Empowering Activities for Seniors) is an evidence-based program that designed as a practical intervention to detect depression and reduce the severity of depressive symptoms in at-risk older adults.

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 by encouraging involvement in meaningful activities

How does the program work?

  • Specially trained Ethos staff screen and assess clients on an individual basis
  • Staff will meet with clients in their home, or on the phone, over a 3-6 month period
  • Staff and clients discuss the areas of life that can be improved and develop a plan of action
  • Ethos partners with health/ mental health care providers, community organizations, and aging services to provide referrals for clients
  • Clients are empowered to enhance their lives by engaging in meaningful, positive activities

What are the program benefits?

According to a 2007 study published in the Journal of Applied Gerontology, within six months of being involved in the program, 93% of Healthy IDEAS participants knew how to get help for depression, 89% reported that increasing activity helped them feel better and 45% reported they had reduced pain.

For Older Adults:

  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Decreased physical pain
  • Better ability to recognize and self-treat symptoms
  • Improved well-being through achievement of personal goals

Click here to download the Healthy IDEAS Brochure.

For more information about Healthy IDEAS, to participate in the program, or to make a referral, please call 617-522-6700 or click here.