Transition & Depression: Elderly & Underserved

Reaches out to seniors over age 55 throughout Maryland who have limited financial resources to link them with licensed mental health professionals when they are experiencing depression particularly if it is caused by transition or victimization from crime, domestic violence and/or financial exploitation.

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Transition and Depression: Elderly and Underserved and
Family Violence Prevention: Elderly and Exploited

With a population that is rapidly aging and, in many cases, misinformed about the high risk of suicide among elderly persons who are depressed and are not provided with adequate care, the Pro Bono Counseling Project is providing an essential systematic program that reaches out to elderly women and men in the community, senior centers, senior housing, hospitals, Health Departments, Departments of Aging, Adult Protective Services and Houses of Worship and links them with therapists and, if necessary, transportation to and from sessions.

Each year, hundreds of thousands of older people are abused and exploited by family members and others. Many of these men and women are frail, ill, vulnerable and cannot help themselves, depending on these same family members to meet their most basic needs.  This program provides support for the following clients:

A senior struggling with life transition issues, such as: 

  • Loss of loved one/ spouse
  • Loss of independence
  • Adjustment to illness
  • Lack of family support


A senior victim of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation

  • are under-insured
  • have low to moderate incomes
  • do not require the clinician to appear in court
  • do not present a threat of violence to the therapist
  • do not request care for chronic mental illness, alcohol or substance abuse
  • have sufficient mental capacity to benefit from therapy


Mrs. K is a 79 year old retired widow whose adult son moved in with her when he lost his job. He was abusing substances and taking her money. She was having difficulty sleeping, crying and distraught. After working with a licensed clinical social worker for just one month, Mrs. K reported, “I have been getting better. My son and I are getting along better. He is working and she has helped me with the way I deal with him. I feel better than I’ve felt since my husband died three years ago. She’s helped me in ways I can’t even begin to put into words.”

Ms. P was not only depressed when she contacted the Pro Bono Counseling Project, because she had lost her job and her self-esteem, because at 61 years old, she was told that she was too old to begin a new job. At her six month interview, Ms. P reported that she had a new job, “I would not have survived a week in this job without [my clinical social worker’s] help. She is really, really good. She is teaching me to stand up for myself and that is important. I would not have this job if not for your getting me the help I needed.”

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